Deflation and How It Will Affect Us All

Everyone fears inflation. Of course, unless you were working and paying bills during the 1970′s, you have not experienced inflation. We are simply taught to fear it. Bad inflation beast!

We have been told for the past several years that inflation, taxes, healthcare and deficit spending are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. We must stand guard against their perpetual onslaught. Agreed. These concerns are real. They should be acknowledged and addressed. The process is slow, cumbersome and hindered by our political wanderings between the Scylla of Socialism and the Charybdis of Capitalism. Scylla grabs six sailors from the deck and swallows them whole; Charybdis destroys whole ships that venture too near and spits out the refuse. Hopefully, November of 2012 will find us finally out of this whirlpool, into clear waters.

There is another beast. It lurks in the depths. It name need not be pronounced, for fear of bringing it forth from its lair. The Kraken lies quietly, as large as an island, seemingly asleep. Once disturbed, it becomes like the sea itself, engorging itself upon all life, sucking up even the very oxygen of the atmosphere. To put it to rest… well, no one has done that yet. Better to ignore it, tiptoeing past the graveyard of ships crushed upon its shores.

Extended metaphor? Perhaps. The beast within is deflation. Japan is being consumed by it now. For the past twenty years it has ravaged the Japanese economy, you only need to look at the USDJPY exchange rate to see that. Government spending, private wealth, public discourse from all sides, even nationalistic jingoisms, have failed to suppress the beast. An aging population incapable of even replacing itself has become one of the beasts tentacles. Low interest rates have not stimulated the economy. Excessive government spending on bridges to nowhere has failed, only piling up further debt. Health care costs, while borne by the beautiful Japanese family, still rip capital from the nation. Savings rates far surpass ours, yet the capital is underutilized, resting quietly at the Post Office account.

Once deflation emerges, chaos reigns, a slow churlish, cancer that soaks the very lifeblood from an economy. How? Interest rates remain rock bottom, discouraging lenders and applicants both from risk appetites. Consumers quickly learn to avoid spending, first on capital items, then on necessities; why buy today when the item will be ever cheaper next week, next month and next year. Cars and computers, fridges and furnaces are put off. Let’s just fix the one we have and wait. Companies reduce capital expenditures. They build up capital, even more than today’s massive $2T+. Layoffs become more prevalent. Those with jobs do more, just to keep them. An aging population saves rather than enjoys their retirement. Flexibility of spending habit becomes a crutch. Saving becomes a cancer. Debt disappears, except at the government level. The friendly folks at the Fed and the Treasury swap newly printed dollars for newly issued notes, like a snake swallowing its own tail.

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Best Practice For Making International Money Transfers

Do you want to know how make a money transfer abroad cheap and secure? There are things to be aware of when making an international money transfer. They are:

• Exchange Rates

Every dollar that you send generates a certain amount of foreign currency. That is known as the exchange rate. It varies daily or at times several times a day according to changes in the international money market. That’s because money transfer companies change it to create profits when you are transfer money abroad.

• Fees

Fees are the amount of money that these services that move money abroad charge. They vary it depending on how much money you are sending, how urgent you want it delivered and whether you are using online means or walk in- agents.

• Total Cost

Total cost is the total amount of money that you will spend including the amount to be sent and the service fees.

• Total Currency to Be Delivered

Total money to be delivered is calculated by multiplying the number of dollars that you are sending with the exchange rate.

How To Cut Costs When You Want To Transfer Money Abroad.

• Compare Transaction Costs

You should shop around for better deals even if you are dealing with the same service provider. That because some services charge more fees when you are transferring money online as compared to when you deal with their walk in agents. For example, Viamericas exchange rates. You can read more on saving money on this article here. > Beat The Banks Like Natwest, Lloyds, Barclays, Hsbc, Nationwide

• Time

You should avoid paying extra to have your cash transferred abroad if you can wait. You should also avoid sending small amounts too often as its costly when you accumulate the charges. Send large amounts at once if its possible.

• Automatic Transfers

Another thing you should avoid is monthly or annual transfers. That’s because they may occur when the exchange rates are not favorable.

• Special Offers

Companies such as Wells Fargo have special deals for customers who meet their minimum account rules. You should look out for such offers.
Security of Your Money

You should ensure that your money has safely arrived and in its exact amount. That’s by providing correct sending details and also checking your receipt. If anything goes wrong, get in touch with the money transfer service or the industry regulator.

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Finding Free Financial Help to Continue Your Education

In today’s world owning a college degree is nearly a necessity in order to advance up the career ladder. Unfortunately, tuition costs for higher education continue to rise and most students are finding they need some sort of financial aid to help pay for it. Loans are available to almost all students, but they only add to the student’s debt after they graduate. Scholarships are not as easy to receive, but they are well worth it since they help pay for tuition and books but do not need to be repaid. Finding the right scholarship is a matter of knowing where to begin looking.

The first step a student should take is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. It can be found online or in the financial aid office. It needs to be filled out by anyone hoping to receive federal aid, such as the Pell Grant. Other sources of scholarships include private companies, local organizations and professional groups.

*Other government grants – The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant is made available to students who have completed the FAFSA and show an extreme financial need. Students who had a parent that was killed during a tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan after 2001 are also eligible for federal money.

*Private companies – Many large corporations provide scholarships to students as a way to give back to the community in which they do business. Often times these are open to children of employees. For example, the Campbell Soup Co. provides thousands of dollars in scholarships to students every year. In addition, many companies will offer to help pay expenses for employees who want to continue their education. The advanced degree will be beneficial to the company and it may require the employee to continue to work at the same place for a certain amount of time in exchange for the aid.

*Local organizations – Groups like Rotary clubs, American Legions and Optimists all raise funds throughout the year to give back to their community. Frequently a part of those funds are used to provide scholarships to area students.

*Professional groups – In an effort to encourage others to enter their profession, many professional groups offer scholarships to students planning on studying in that specific field. Some, like the Society of Women Engineers Scholarship, offer financial aid exclusively to female students who are trying to make a career in that area.

Most students need some sort of financial aid to help pay for college. Scholarships provide money for tuition and books and help reduce the amount of money a student may have to borrow to continue their education. They are also highly competitive, so finding the right one is a matter of knowing where to look and beginning the search.

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