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Clear From American Express Credit Card – Review

You can enjoy the comfort of no fees of any kind with the Clear Card from American Express. This includes no annual fee, no late fees, no over-the-limit fees, no balance transfer fees, and no cash advance fees. Rewards come automatically with the card. You can receive an American Express branded shopping card worth $25.00 delivered to you every time you spend $2,500 with the card. You can enjoy the most flexible of payment terms. The choice is yours to either pay in full or carry a balance. There is no annual fee and the card comes with a 0% intro APR for up to 12 months. You will have access to World Class Cardholder benefits including a purchase protection plan, a buyer’s assurance plan, and a returned merchandise protection plan.

The Identity Theft Assistance Plan is second to none. American Express has trained representatives on standby 24/7 to aid you in the credit theft recovery process should the need ever arise. These folks at American Express even provide you with a comprehensive package to help you in the task of re-establishing your deserved good credit. Do note that with the Clear Card from American Express you are also entitled to receive the best of World-Class Customer Service. If your card is ever lost or stolen representatives are also on standby 24/7 to cater to your needs. All one has to do is call the number located on the back of the Clear Card from American Express.

Managing your card via the internet is a breeze. The user friendly interface allows you to view the most up-to-date billing and card information including recent charges, transactions, and payments 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. With the Year-End Summary one can easily put their finances in order to just simply put their personal finances into perspective or to prepare for tax returns. The documents available online are well formatted to be printed should you desire to keep hard copies of any of your card related expense records.

One of the best and most useful features of this credit card is the famous American Express Fraud Protection Guarantee. Online or in the Brick-and-Mortar World, you will not be held accountable for unauthorized charges. Guarantees such as this always make it more easy to shop with confidence. The Return Protection feature is also outstanding. If you attempt to return a product to a merchant within 90 days of purchasing the item and the merchant won’t accept it, American Express will refund the purchase price up to $300.00 per item. This does not include shipping and handling charges and there is a maximum amount of $1000 that can be claimed annually per each card account.

Finance Series – Exploring Investor Rationality

The Efficient Market Hypothesis has been under fire since Eugene Fame of the University Of Chicago Graduate School Of Business first suggested it back in the early 1960s. The central idea behind the Efficient Market Hypothesis is the theory that investors are completely rational in interpreting and acting on market news and information (which, ostensibly, is fully revealed public knowledge).

It has since come to be known as the Theory of Rational Expectations. This rational investor behavior is factored into the value of all news and information the moment it becomes available. And it happens to the extent that “beating the market” becomes an impossible task.

The idea of investor rationality has been under fire by the few “gurus” who have consistently beaten the market since its inception. Nobel Laureate and father of Behavioral Finance, Daniel Kahneman, pointed out that the failure of the rational model is not inherent in the logic of the theory, but rather in the human psyche. He posited that nobody has the ability to simultaneously process all incoming stimuli and attain a complete understanding and mastery of that stimuli.

From the many arguments for and against the theory of rational expectations, I observed that many of the arguments stemmed from a difference in the understanding of what rationality means in the first place (indeed, that is further proof that “rational” people can look at ideas and apply their own bias and still be regarded as “rational”). If the world is made up of blistering imbeciles making irrational decisions, like those who argued against the theory suggest, wouldn’t the world more closely resemble an assembly of monkeys? Yet, if the world is made up of rational humans the way the theory postulates, wouldn’t the world be more robotic than human?

For too long, academia has debated the theory by taking sides with either the monkeys or the robots without a clear understanding of what constitutes rationality in the first place. Is the investor who rushes blindly into the stock market during market bubbles irrational? Are investors rational beings if they buy undervalued and sell overvalued stocks? Essentially, all reasonable human beings are rational! Rationality is the consistency of action based upon a set of logical variables. The issue here is that the difference in one’s level of knowledge and life experiences is the determining factor that allows for the installation of a distinct set of logical parameters and values in every human being!

This means that two human beings looking at and interpreting the same information can come to two separate conclusions and resulting actions! The result of which is a two-sided market. An investor who has lost a significant amount of money in the stock market may prefer to stay out of an overextended stock regardless of how fantastic the news. On the other hand, investors who have never been through that same life experience would simply continue to buy on the news. Both investors, in this case, are rational in regard to their own level of knowledge and experience. This explanation of rationality effectively consolidates all the differing views on the Theory of Rational Expectation. Because investors are rational, two-sided markets are created, making the overall market more and more efficient. Because investors are rational, they rush after price bubbles on the expectation of profits only to be defeated by the Law of Regression to the Mean.

Being greedy is a rational response to one’s needs and wants and being fearful is a rational response to one’s past sufferings. The driving factors of Greed and Fear are also rational expressions! Contrarians who take positions against the market are rationally expressing their expectations that markets eventually turn against the prevailing trend. Trend followers who take positions along with market trends are rationally expressing their belief in that trend continuing into the foreseeable future. Both create a two-sided market for each other, driving the overall market towards more and more efficiency.

However, this explanation of rationality completely nullifies the part in the theory that states that “rational investors should act in a similar fashion in response to the same news”. Because there is no way of measuring or predicting whether or not there will be more decisions of rational buying or rational selling in response to new information, nobody can predict market movement with any moral certainty. Although not attributed to random behavior, the unpredictable nature of the market has more cause and effects than the theory itself can explain.

In summation, any argument to explain market behavior through the notion of rationality has limited application in reality. As investors in the stock markets, our understanding that the markets cannot be predicted and the set-up of realistic stop loss points in preparation for worst-case outcomes and hedging portfolios using stock options, are the most rational actions that can be taken. As behavioral finance suggests, everyone makes the best of a bad situation and the situation in the stock market has never been ideal for anyone.

Personal Finance, Corporate & Public Finance

Finance basically revises and deals with various methods by the means of which businesses, companies, and individuals hoist, distribute, and utilize financial supplies over a stipulated time, along with considering the threats involved in their assignments. Hence, the expression of finance may engross any of the below mentioned stuffs:

o The execution and outlining of the assignment’s threats.

o The art of executing funds.

o The administration and execution of the resources.

o The revision of funds and other capitals.

In consideration of the expression “to finance”, it signifies to offer finances for commerce or for an individual’s huge purchases such as house, car, etc. The commotions of finance are the submission that individuals and firms utilize for executing their funds, specifically the variations amidst earnings and expense along with the threats of their assets.

Alternative Revisions:

For the earning that surpasses its expense list may provide or spend the surplus income. Simultaneously, an individual whose earnings are less than the expenses may hoist assets by purchasing or lending the equity claims, reducing its expenditures, or boosting its earning. Now, the lender can find a borrower, a monetary mediator, as such a bank or can purchase notes or shares from the share market. Further, the lender acquires interest rates, and the borrower shells out a bigger interest rate than the lender acquires, and the monetary mediator concise the variation.

Banks amass the commotions of several lenders and borrowers, and it also welcomes the deposits from various lenders, on which it shells out the interest rate. Further, the bank lends these deposits to the borrowers, and by this method bank permits the authority for both the lenders as well as the borrowers of distinctive horizons, to synchronize their financial commotions. Hence, banks are described as compensators of money streams in space.

For example, if an individual buys one share of ABC Inc, and the firm posses 100 shares in stock, then the individual becomes 1/100 possessor of that firm. Obviously, in favor of the stock, the firm acquires cash, which it utilizes to enlarge its commercialization in a procedure called as “Equity Financing”.

Utility:

Finance is utilized by almost every individual (personal finance), commerce (corporate finance), by government bodies (public finance) and by a huge range of institutions engrossing school, colleges, and all the non-profit institutions. Usually, the objectives of each of the above mentioned commotional bodies are attained by the utilization of proper financial implementations, along with systematic contemplation of their organizational backdrop.

Hence, finance is one of the most crucial phases of business administration. A fresh business venture is bound to fail, if appropriate financial concepts are not utilized. Administration of funds is the most necessary stuff for ensuring a safe financial future for both the firms as well for the individuals.

How to Get Business Financing in a Tough Credit Market

The credit markets have been tightening for the last year and personal credit has become more and more elusive. Now, more than ever, we are starting to see a tightening on business credit and loans offered by banks. Banks are tightening their standards and dropping more liberal business loan programs as well.

Just a few months ago, BofA offered an express business line of credit program that even entrepreneurs in business just a month or two could qualify for with the right credit scores. They pulled the program in the last quarter. American Express for years has offered a Business Line of Credit program that entrepreneurs could apply for in addition to their American Express credit cards. The line of credit was competitive in the industry with interest rates and most small business owners with an American Express credit card were getting approved. The program was pulled in the last quarter.

The closing of great programs such as the BofA Express Line of Credit and Amex Business Line of Credit are signaling the need for small business owners to find alternative ways to finance their businesses. There are several unconventional methods that most entrepreneurs can use to build up access to capital they will need from time to time. Some of these methods include: merchant account cash advance programs, equipment leasing, equipment sale-lease back, A/R Factoring and trade credit (also known as corporate credit or business credit).

Trade credit is the single largest source of lending in the entire world. It is when one business sells services or products to another business on credit terms. For example, when Dell Computers sells a laptop to a small business owner, the business owner is given a choice: pay now with a Mastercard/Visa/Amex credit card, apply for a Dell Computer line of credit or apply for a Dell Computer Credit Card. When the small business owner chooses to apply for a Dell Credit Line or Credit Card they are using trade credit. Dell will then offer terms to the applicants who qualify. Terms may include no-interest for 30 days if paid in full, or an interest rate charged each month a balance is carried and a small monthly payment that must be made on the credit card.

If the business owner has structured their company properly before applying for the credit, they will likely receive an approval based solely on the business credit profile, business credit score and how compliant the company is with the business credit market. If the business is prepared and built some initial business credit before applying with Dell, they will likely get approved regardless of what the personal credit score of the owner looks like. This is True trade credit (corporate credit), when you rely completely on the business’ ability to obtain the credit and not just that of the individual owner or officer of the company. Every entrepreneur should have a business credit profile and score. That includes also being in compliant with the lending market.

A business credit profile and score need to be created with all the major business credit bureaus, not just one. D&B (Dun and Bradstreet) is the oldest business credit bureau, although Experian Business and Equifax Business have created very competitive products and services to compete directly with D&B over the last few years. Most credit bureaus create a business credit profile and score when companies report to the bureaus the payment history of their clients. The more companies reporting to a business credit profile, the better. Companies who purchase a business credit report for analysis to determine credit approvals, like to see when others have granted credit already. They would prefer to see several credit accounts with the business, whereas with an individual you may find it more difficult to obtain credit when you have a lot of credit accounts.

Most small business owners seeking financing are looking for the money to purchase a product or service. The majority of time the product or service can be found through a company offering credit terms. Trade credit is used by household supply stores, marketing companies, printers, graphic designers, internet marketing companies, gas stations, equipment companies, auto-dealers, shipping companies, office supply companies, furniture companies and many more.

In addition to trade credit as an alternative financing option there is merchant account cash advance programs. Although this type of financing can be expensive it is still a great option for some businesses. This type of financing is for businesses with a merchant account charging more than $10,000 per month on the account. Many merchant cash advance companies will advance up to three months charges on a merchant account with very little personal credit information required to obtain the loan. The loan is then paid back out of future merchant account activity as a percentage of the total amount charged that month.

Another alternative source of financing is A/R Factoring. If a company has accounts receivable with other businesses with decent history and credit scores, a factoring company will come in and buy the receivables for a discount on the future value. The business gets money now and the factoring company waits for the invoices to be paid. When they are paid by the customers of the business, the factoring company gets their share and repayment on the advance.

A company can also use leasing as an option to finance their business. A lot of equipment and even software can be leased. There is extremely beneficial to start-up companies and those looking for large equipment purchases. The company doesn’t have to pay up front for a large ticket item, which than conserves cash for the growth and day to day operations of the company.