There are various types of insurance policies. The policies aid in certain functions such as offering security against risks that may occur. The various types of insurance policies cover variant fields. That is there are policies include marine insurance to property insurance. The various types of policies offer different functions. One policy that has been the source of debate is the funeral insurance policy. The policy is available in some insurance agencies. The policy has created a lot of talk on the necessity of the product and the alternatives that could be in use to replace it. It is therefore important to comprehend the results of this product.
Financial experts have argued that the taking of the policy is a financial loss. This is mainly because of the demands that come with it. Many people often ignore the advice from the advisers and choose to purchase the product. This however is suicidal due to the various expenses that one would incur as they purchase the product. The majority of people who take out this policy often feel the urge to ensure that their next of kin and the family members are secure after the insured has died. However, certain restrictions come with the purchase of this policy this noble venture.
Some of the additional expenses that an insured incurs include the payment of high premiums. Unlike other policies that offer reasonable premiums, the funeral insurance policy offers high premiums, which do not base on any form of calculation. The policy also does not allow the pre calculation of the premiums thus inhibiting the insured from proper planning. The compensation period is always longer in terms of the funeral insurance policy. Even though the policy offers some advantages, which include the provision of financial security among the relatives and provision of burial money, it also offers some disadvantages such as the high financial burden that the insured people suffer.
The policy also comes with certain other disadvantages such as the payment of high rates in terms of premiums. This is the main disadvantage of taking out this financial product. In addition, other additional disadvantages accompany this product. The funereal insurance policy offers some form of security to the people taking out the policy however, it does not offer benefits such as the other policies related to life insurance. The other forms of life insurance offer more advantages than the funeral insurance policy. There are also other alternatives to the funeral insurance policy. These alternatives offer similar services as the policy as but with slightly more advantages than the funeral policy.
Some of the alternatives to funeral insurance policies include
The use of savings accounts is important. The practice enables people to save money, which in turn earn them interests on the deposits. The use of the savings accounts ensures that the person gets to save money there by ensuring financial security in the case of the person’s death. Various banks offer good deposit rates for the savings accounts. This also ensures that one saves a lot of money. That is through the savings accounts one does not incur any form of charges. This is unlike the funeral policy that ensures that the people pay premiums.
Life Insurance Policies
This is the most appropriate alternative to the funeral policy. Since there are various types of life insurance policies, the clients often have a unique choice. One thing that separates the funeral policy from the life insurance policy is the provision of low premiums to the clients. In terms of the general life insurance, one also gets compensation right after the period of insurance is over. The whole life insurance also offers the best in terms of payment of premiums as well as the period of compensation. Instead of choosing the funeral insurance policy, the selection of either the different type of life insurance policies ensures that the client gets to save on money for the premiums.
This allows the clients to receive burial arrangements easily with the financial estates. They assist in the payment of the expenses. This is an alternative to the funeral policy. The policy would charge high premiums but through the estates, one could easily pay the expenses and still save money.
Thus, it would suffice to say that the taking of the funeral insurance policy is not a good financial decision. This is due to the variety of disadvantages that it brings to the insured and his relatives. Incase of a default in any of the payment of the premiums, the clients do not get their compensation thereby hindering the burial process. There are however, the above stated alternatives to the funeral policy, which offer a much better results than the latter. The alternatives are more preferable than the funeral insurance policy. This is due to the advantages that they offer to the clients.
When one of my coworkers bought a Nissan Altima through USAA, I got curious about the bank. I latter realized that I being a non-military person can never open one account there. I inquired other who use USAA for their banking needs. Here’s my finding, enjoy the post.
USAA provides many competitive financial products and services for its clients, most of who come from the military community. USAA stands for the United States Automobile Association. It was started early in the 20th century by army officers and it has grown to become one of the best financial service provider for army offices.
To become a member, you must be an army officer although this privilege can also be enjoyed by those who have retired from the military. Adult children whose parents are in the military and who are party of USAA can also enjoy this privilege and so can widows and widowers of former members of the USAA who have had insurance policies with the USAA.
There are tens of products that are provided by the USAA; these include life insurance policies, banking products, credit cards, financial planning and so forth. USAA is one of the highly rated financial institutions in the United States. Perhaps the fact that it is not a publicly traded company is one of the reasons it has maintained its financial stability over the years. USAA is one of the companies with the highest ratings in the United States.
Some of the benefits you will get from banking with USAA include;
- Depositing checks from your Smartphone or a scanner with Deposit@Home or Deposit@Mobile, or directly at selected locations
- Direct deposits are free
- Instant money access through ATM (consumers can use any ATM without the fear of penalty-any penalty fees will be borne by USAA)
- Mobile banking- you can find out your balance and get access to your money through your mobile phone from wherever you are in the country.
- You can make transfers from any bank in the United States and there is no limit as to the amount you may transfer from any of these banks.
- Online money management-thanks to USAA® Money Manager, you will be able to keep tabs on your spending. In essence, you will have a lot more money in your pockets as you will be assisted to spend less and save more.
- Thanks to USAA Web BillPay; you will be able to pay your bills from the comfort of your home. In case you want alerts for accounts that are almost overdue, you can get them with this application.
- The fact that it is an online bank with no physical location means you can access its services from anywhere in the United States. Physical locations tend to limit banking services; something that hasn’t been an issue for the USAA
- The site for the USAA is very easy to use; obviously because it is the only means by which you can access the bank. The USAA has invested a lot in web design and social tools for the marketing of its financial services. Still, it manages to maintain simplicity, which allows every possible user to access its services with ease. You will not have to hassle your way around to find a feature in the site, and this makes it very user-friendly, especially for those who do not know how to use the internet.
- Users will get free checks for as long as they are using USAA. (related – Business checks from Tech Checks)
- There are tens of banking options with the USAA and you can have all of them hosted by this bank. You can have your life insurance, home insurance, auto insurance, personal bank account, crediting account in USAA.
- You will earn 1 point for every $2 spent with your debit card and for this you can redeem for rewards like gift cards and so forth.
- Consume care services offered by the USAA are top-notch, and you can be assured that any banking issue you may have will be taken care of immediately.
The cons of USAA include the following;
- You have to be in the military, or your parents have to be in the military. This is a banking option that is open to military personnel or former military personnel and their immediate families only. When you think about the percentage of the USA population that is in the military, it means most people cannot access the services of the USAA. You can only smile and appreciate it from the outside if you are not in the military.
- Any overdraft will be drawn from your savings account. If you use your credit card, it means you will only draw in increments of $100. No matter how much you overdraft by, $100 will be deposited to your account. This means if you are not careful with your spending you will end up owing the bank a lot more money than you expected.
- The USAA has very few mutual find options, which means you will have very few investment options with it. The USAA has only four index funds, which means you are limited.
The verdict on USAA
If you have a military connection, you’ll feel at home with USAA, the bank servers people like you. But if you are a rate chaser, like me, you may fund better rates else where. We reviewed Ally, TIAA Direct and EverBank which pays better than USAA.
According to the name, this is budgeting software that will help its users to manage their money better. With Mvelopes, you can set money aside for every need you have and track all your expenses. This will help you a lot with spending and saving in the future. Mvelopes is an application that will track all kinds of accounts; mortgage accounts, personal accounts, business accounts, retirement accounts and even investment accounts.
Anyone who wants to keep a strict budget and look at every aspect of their spending should make use of this software. For those who have a very simple budget that can be tracked with pen and paper, this may not be your kind of thing. However, those whose accounts are many needs to make use of this application as it can be hard to keep tabs on all of them to ensure that you are afloat.
The pros of Mvelopes online budgeting softwarr
This is a budgeting application that will allow you to put all your finances on point. In other words, while it can be complicated to have several different accounts and manage them using pen and paper, you can manage it using Mvelopes and have everything organized and neat. It can be complicated to have many people in a household and have everyone spending money here and there. It can be hard to track expenditures and still be there for your family and boss and all your other commitments.
- Mvelopes has the advantage of being supported by major financial institutions, so you cannot have any problems linking up with all of these and getting any financial information you may need.
- With Mvelopes, you can control your spending and save a lot of money than if you were saving by tracking all your spending otherwise. If you are not sure, you need to try this application first before you dismiss it.
- Mvelopes has the advantage of being online, meaning you can access your account from wherever you may be. So long as you have a password, you only have to have internet access. Those who have mobile phones can access their information from these phones as well.
- This site offers a Bill Pay service which is a fantastic budgeting option for you. With this, you can literally pay all your bills and be able to track all your payments. This will save you a lot of time and money.
- Setting up an account with Mvelopes is very fast and very easy, you do not need to be an expert in anything. The only thing you need is the basics of using the internet.
- Mvelopes comes with a net worth tracking tool. This tool is exactly what it is…it will tell you how much you are worth at a certain place and time. You will know where you are financially at a certain point. Naturally, your assets should be more than your liabilities. You should then know how far you will go financially depending on the steps you want to take.
- For many users of this application, it has given them a wakeup call on financial issues. It is important to be able to plan and make moves accordingly; trying to make sure that you are on the right track financially.
- You can make use of Mvelopes for its portability; this is because you can use it on your Smartphone. There are applications for entering expenses, editing transaction and reviewing balance. These applications will allow you to take photos of important documents and attach them to any transactions.
The cost of Mvelopes
For anyone who has a lot of expenses to track, this will be the best investment you will make. Mvelopes has great features and it is cost-effective. There are three plans which you can use to get access to the Mvelopes application. First, you can get a three months plan for which you will spend $40. This is perfect if you do not plan to spend so much time making use of it. In essence, if you just want to try it out, make use of this plan.
If you want to stay with Mvelopes for longer than three months, try out the $130 plan or the two year plan for $190. It is cheaper to buy the two year package than the one year package. With Mvelopes you will be able to save a lot of money, if you are the kind of person who can’t seem to keep tabs on your expenses; this is the kind of application to use.
Downside of Mvelops
There are two downsides with Mvelopes that we could found in their free version
first, it does not seem to work well with other currencies, which can be very difficult especially if you have earnings/expenditure in two different currencies. It can never distinguish between the currencies.
Second, while it has some degree of data import capability, it doesn’t support many personal finance software or other online applications. You may have a hard time having to do this physically, and if you have a lot to import, it will take a long time.
Verdict on Mvelops
You can right away start using Mvelops free version (app or online software). Once you get familiarized with it and if it fits your bill, you can opt for paid version. We are recommending the software for your own good. You may have to pay a monthly fee, but, it can save 100s of dollars for you in long-term.
If you think the software is not for you, you can discard it anyway, without opting for subscription version. Either case, evaluate the free version first before putting any money on it.
Trading the stock market is normally only for people with a direct connection to the markets and captains of industry, right? Wrong. There are some markets which can be traded by just about anyone, which, if done successfully, could prove to be quite lucrative. One form of trading where it’s possible to potentially make significant profits is forex trading. Short for foreign exchange, trading forex involves speculating on whether one currency will strengthen or weaken against another currency e.g. GB Pound/US Dollar.
One of the best things about trading forex is that, unlike other, more traditional forms of trading, you could potentially make money regardless of whether there’s a rise or fall in the market you’re trading in. All you need to do to get started is open a forex trading account and find a guide to read before you commence trading. There are many great forex trading guides out there such as the how to trade forex guide by City Index, which is available online.
You choose a currency pair you know of, and either decide to ‘go long’, which means you think the first currency in the pair will rise in value against the other. Or you can ‘go short’ if you believe a fall in value will happen. You start at a set price, and can close the trade when you’re satisfied with the level of profit made or want to limit any losses. It’s an attractive form of trading which can be done at any time of the day from Sunday night to Friday evening, as the forex markets are open for trading 24hrs a day between these days to allow for international time zones.
Any money made from trading forex could really help to boost your income. It could be used for home improvements, buying a new car or going on holiday abroad, or, if you have any debts that need clearing, you can wipe them out or reduce them if with your profits. However, when getting started, it’s important to be cautious, so that you know what to do in future when you’re used to forex trading.
It is also important to recognise that forex trading is a leveraged product and you can encounter losses that exceed your initial deposit. As such, forex trading is not for everyone. Please understand the risks involved before trading forex.
This annuity review is intended to explain who needs a pension annuity investment, and why they are so important. When you retire, you have no money coming in and will rely on social security unless you have made some form of financial provision.
“People are living longer, and retirement is no longer just a few years, but can be as long as 20-30 years and more,” says James from iannuityrates.co.uk. “It can be a terrible shock to change from living comfortably to being on the bread line! Yet many who fail to invest for their retirement end up in this situation.”
Most people in regular employment are already investing for their annuity, although not all although they might not be aware of it. You must either take steps to sign up with an insurance company for a pension annuity investment plan, or join your company pension plan that likely operates a 401K defined contributions scheme.
A defined Contributions scheme provides you with a lump sum on retirement that you can use to purchase the annuity of your choice. Your pay a proportion of your pre-tax income into an annuity investment plan and your employer also contributes an agreed amount. On your retirement, you can use the accumulate investment to purchase an annuity to provide you with a regular income throughout your retirement.
The 401K and IRA Annuity Investment
Such schemes may have a minimum retirement age, so check what that is if you want to retire early. For individuals saving for their own retirement, you have two options: a 401K or an IRA (Individual Retirement Account). A 401 K is the above defined contributions scheme, into which you and your employer pays. As to who needs one, it is frankly to the advantage of every American in employment to take a 401K, or they will be leaving their employer’s contribution on the table when they eventually retire.
Normally, when you join a company operating such a plan, you will be asked if you want to join. Irrespective of whether you think you are too young to save for your retirement, you should join. It will come sooner than you think, and it’s too late then to wish you have made better provision for what could these days be another 20-30 years of life. Do you want to spend that on social security?
Who needs an annuity investment? You do! Even of you don’t think so right now, you need a pension annuity investment program to begin now if you don’t already have one. The sooner you start salting away some of your income into an annuity investment, the more comfortable you will be in your retirement. Do you want to visit your kids and grand-children after you retire? Maybe you don’t even have the kids yet, but plan for the future or you will likely live to regret it!
What are your options? One is the 401K that you cash in for an annuity when you reach 59.5 years old, or an IRA with the same restrictions. Because such an annuity investment is deducted from your gross income (before tax), you pay tax on it when you cash in the investment. If you use your 401K or IRA completely to provide you with a regular pension, you will be taxed on your monthly payments, although with any tax-fee allowance applied first.
Roth 401K and Roth IRA
You also have the option of a Roth 401K or Roth IRA, where payments are made from your post-tax, or net income. In these cases, you pay no further tax when you use your annuity investment, either to actually purchase an annuity or take as a cash sum: there are limits to how much of an annuity investment can be taken as cash.
If you are in employment you should make a pension annuity investment on a regular basis, a 401K being your best option. If you win money on the lottery, or come into an inheritance, you could use part of that to purchase a deferred annuity, payable at a later date when your require it, or, even better, an IRA that you can cash when you reach a certain age to provide you with another regular monthly pension.
You Do Need an Annuity Investment
Whether or not you believe right now that have to save up for your retirement, the simple answer is that you do! Inflation means that cash loses its value, but pension annuity investments tend to rise along with interest rates and the cost of living. You could save your money in a bank or building society, but your annuity investment will tend to maintain its spending power far better than banks and building societies.
Once you retire you can cash your investment to buy an annuity. This will give you a pension for life, generally paid into your bank account each month. If you save enough, you could also make that a joint annuity, which protects your spouse or partner in the event of your death – then your pension will be then paid to her or him for life.
Kiva started as a tool through which entrepreneurs in developing countries were aided in starting their own businesses and hence improve their financial well-being. The main aim of Kiva was to stamp out poverty from developing countries in the world. It has grown in leaps and bounds ever since and it has turned to developed countries for the same purpose as well. According to many analysts.
Is Kiva all that great?
Kiva hasn’t made any significant impact in helping people in developing countries to pull themselves out of poverty as field partners seem to be factoring some countries over others and some groups over others. Also, national governments have also caused some companies to shut down for political reasons. The high interest rates charged by Kiva seem to be its own undoing and the reason why it seems not to be very attractive to people in developing countries.
This NY Times article describes a few of the general concerns on Kiva. Kiva came out with their response to the allegations here.
It was discovered a while ago that Kiva was facilitating loans that featured interest rates as high as 30% and in some cases being higher than the 50% mark. For this reason, many critics have talked about Kiva as having missed the mark (the whole idea of micro financing is to offer loans with little or no collateral).
It has been argued by others that having high interest rates will help institutions of micro credit to stand firm faster and to attract more borrowers and hence fasten the process of poverty reduction.
According to Kiva, when money is lent on Kiva, the borrower will pay interest, although Kiva does not make money off the interest that will be paid by the borrowers. Kiva is an institution that pays for its operations using tips as it is a non-profit organization.
Most of its field partners will make profit from the loans that they give to borrowers. Interest is charged on the amount that has been lent and the interest rates differ from country to country. The 30% and above interest rates have been justified by Kiva time and again; one of the justifications being that considering the fact that interest charged is about 10%, the inclusion of overseas partners makes the interest rates to jump to the 30% and above interest rates. Kiva maintains that it does not make any profits from the loans
With regard to the high interest rates; Kiva has justified this by explaining that the lack of infrastructure in some developing world makes interest rates higher. Also there is the fact that loans in developing countries are generally smaller than loans in developed countries. Generally speaking, the cost of administering smaller loans is higher than the cost of administering larger loans and this is the reason for the high interest rate.
For Kiva to choose its field partners, it ensures that they share the same social mission among other things. Kiva ensures that it has looked at their interest rates and operating costs among other things. It will also look at the general size of the population being served and how well they match their core value among others.
Field partners are required to endorse some principles;
- First, the financial institution must be able to prevent over-indebtedness by ensuring that a borrower has the ability to pay off his loans. The borrower should be in a position to pay off his loans comfortably without stretching too much
- Transparency-the field partners must ensure that their consumers are aware of what they are committing themselves to before they get those loans.
- When a client fails to pay back a loan, the institution must be able to maintain high standards of ethics
- The institution must have a healthy corporate culture so that clients are treated well
- They should have mechanisms for resolving complaints from consumers.
- Privacy and confidentiality of client data
How to borrow from Kiva
Business loans by Kiva require that a potential borrower is informed about the loan requirements.
- Generally speaking a borrower must have a good credit score of 525 and shouldn’t be bankrupt.
- All mortgage payment should have been done on time in the last year
- Should have steady income and prove so.
- The applicant must provide security
- In the event that the business is an emerging one, the business should have been In operation for the last one six months
- The borrower should provide a market study and projections of the business. A business plan may or may not be required.
- For home-based businesses, it is required that the applicant has less than $500 in debt and a business plan with a cash flow projection of 12 months.
- For business loans, one must come up with a cosigner. This may not be necessary if the loan is small, if there is adequate security and the borrower has shown that he has a steady flow of cash income.
Readers do you have any experience with Kiva? How did you find the company or the program?
Readers to deviate from our usual review series, here’s a post that may help you choosing your preferred software for Forex or currency trading. There are various software available in the market today. The tasks start from comparing those available option. Below points will explain you how you can proceed further.
Like any other software selection, the features you should look in to while choosing the best out of available currency trading software are as below.
The software should be up 24/7, like the Forex market itself, your software should never sleep or face outages. Any time in the day you should be able to access the platform.If a software does not have this feature you can safely turn away from it.
Your money and your purchases should automatically be protected from fraud potential by the encryption employed in the software. A 124 bit encryption is a must to beat today’s network attackers.
Ease of use
The trading platform should be easily usable and understandable. You shouldn’t have to click too many buttons to place a purchase order or a sales order. At the same time the software should not have missing features.
Real time Quote and movement
Unless you get to see real-time price movement and your profit and loss margin a trading platform is good for nothing. This is no different from a regular stock trading platform need. You need to know every movement especially if you are a day trader.
Always read reviews for the software. Expert review and regular user reviews are great resources to know a product feature better. Every review will either negative or positive and same product might generate good as well as bad reviews, go for the products that have best ratio of positive vs. negative reviews.
No matter how good a software is there will be glitches, that’s how electronics pulses work in a network, signal packets will be lost and connection will be broken at times. When that happens a good customer service fills the gap. If you don’t get an answer even after being one hour on phone then the software platform owners have a serious problem. Customer is the king, let’s behave like a king.
Brand name goes a long way. Brand name brings controls and procedures to meet standards, brand name brings reliability. A better brand is always more equipped to compensate for their mistakes. They may go out of their ways to fit your needs at times.
So, your tasks do not end till you learn how to trade Forex, it can only complete when you evaluate and select the best available Forex software. We at Finance Product Reviews will bring in future reviews of forex trading platforms, setting the pace here.
Thanks for being our avid reader, let us know if you have good/bad experience with a currency trading platforms.
Scottrade is a private discount brokerage firm in US. They have head quarter in St. Louis, Missouri. They have nearly 504 branches all over US. They offer service to Asian- pacific customers also. This service is provided through there center in china. They offer many services like stoke broker, mutual funds, CDs, IRAs, fixed income etc. 2010 they had nearly 3,300 employees. Till year 2008 they had $838.10 million revenues. In year 2011 they launched Scottrade bank.
Some important things have to be considered before starting dealing with an online broker. The one which provides fewer prices is good but only this is not enough. One should do enough research of the service provider they are looking for, and should see pros and con of that service provider. Following are some main points for one of the leading online broker in US: -
Facility to open either individual or joint account: – they offer you two types of account. First one is individual account. And second one is joint account. In joint account you can add maximum 3 people. From your account you can trade stocks, mutual funds, many bonds, exchange trade funds, options etc. the charges for trading unlimited shares having value more than $1 is $7. Is you are trading options then you will have to pay 1.25$ extra than 7$.
Retirement account: – Scottrade offers much type of retirement accounts if you are working. The account includes Roth, traditional, simple IRAs, Rollover.
Business and trust account: -you can open a business or trust account at Scottrade. For trust account you can choose between regular, PSP, MPP etc. while for business account you can choose between corporate & LCC, partnership or investment.
No maintenance fee: – another main thing which makes Scottrade so special. They take absolutely no fee for account maintenance. It is not just that, they even charge anything for deactivating your existing account. According to me this is very special thing they give.
Low price for stock trade: – when the things come to pricing of trading stocks, Scottrade are leading there also. They have one of the least pricing in American market. If you compare Scottrade to other discount giving traders, then also Scottrade are taking much less commission. In case of option trade they are taking much higher commission but in case of stock, they are the best.
Huge branch network: – they have over 500 branches all over US. This is largest network by any trading company in US.
Security on your account funds: – they provide you security investor Protection Corporation membership once you open an account at Scottrade. This security account is given at no cost. This security account provides you insurance up to $24.5 million per customer. This insurance security is similar to FDIC security given to you with your deposits in bank. So there is absolutely no need to worry about financial stability of Scottrade.
Highly rated: – This broker company has earned very high ratings in many individual investors of US. It is not just that, they have won customer satisfaction, less interest rate awards in year 2007 and in 2008. J.D power and associates have ranked Scottrade as highest customer satisfaction providing Broker Company.
For getting started you will have to put $1000 in your account. Once you start account, you can transfer your IRAs to Scottrade for free. Also their website provides very easy to use online platform. With this platform you will get free access to real time streaming quotes, charts, market news, latest announcement etc.
Is Scottrade worth it?
There is one big disadvantage of Scottrade is that, you can invest online but you can’t withdraw money online.
There are other reasons I hate Scottrade,
- No dividend re investment option for the shares you own, if you want to re invest dividend it will be classified as another transaction worth $7
- Pricier than Zecco Trading and MB Trading brokerages I use. Both Zecco and MB Trading offer $4.95 per trade fees.
- There is a minimum fund requirement of $1000 to be able to trade
Do you use Scottrade? Tell us more about your experience, you good, bad or neutral opinions are most valuable for other readers.
The NetSpend Corporation provides marketing services and processing for proprietary and private Master Card and Visa prepaid Debit Cards. It is a Texas based company and has it’s headquarter in Austin .This company has other branches in the cities of Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Leewood , KC; and San Mateo ; CA. Oak Investment Partners are major shareholders of this company.
The NetSpend Corporation has 7 million costumers and helps them for the payment of bills, for purchasing, and managing their money without the need of checking credit history and account. This company was established in the year 1999 by Bertrand and Roy Sosa along with their friend James Wright.
Under the symbol of NTSP this company trades on the NASDAQ. The NetSpend has products that include debit cards which can also be reloaded with funds; travel card which can be reloaded only a limited number of times; gift cards which cannot be reloaded and can be purchased in predominant amounts.
The NetSpend Prepaid Visa Card is a debit card with lesser fees as compared to other card in the market. Netspend visa prepaid is designed to provide users with the convenience of a debit card without the worries and concern associated with a credit card. You load money onto the card and start paying for services or goods from anywhere that accepts Visa, including gas stations, restaurants, and groceries.
If you’re in the market for a prepaid Visa and contemplating on the NetSpend Prepaid Visa debit card, read on to see if the card is a good fit for you.
Salient features of Netspend Visa prepaid card
- 100% Approval – No credit check needed (ID verification required).
- Get your paycheck or government benefits up to 2 days faster with free direct deposit
- Earn cash back with NetSpend Payback Rewards(TM).
- Real-time activity alerts sent to your mobile phone.
- Prescription Discounts – up to 55% off!.
- Funds are FDIC insured up to the current coverage limit (ID verification required).Apply Now!
During the application process of this card you are able to choose between three different plans for this card.
The first option for this card is Free Advantage.
- The FreeAdvantage plan charge you a monthly fee of US $ 9.95, but this card does not charge you a onetime enrollment fee.
- The good thing about this plan is that the signature purchase transactions and pin purchase transactions for merchants do not need fees. However, this plan has ATM transactions fees of US $ 2.50
The second option for this card is the Pay-as-you-go plan.
- The Pay-as-you-go plan do not has a onetime enrollment fees as well as this plan does not have a monthly fees, too.
- There is a US $ 1 fee charges per purchase on the signature purchase transactions where you have to give a signature via electronic reader on any purchase.
- If you need to withdraw your money through ATM then you will be charge US $ 2.50 per transaction and if you need to make any purchase through a pin purchase transaction where you have to enter your card pin number then you will be charged US $ 2 per transaction.
The third plan for the NetSpend card is NetSpend Premier FreeAdvantage plan.
- The structure of this plan is somewhat similar to the traditional FreeAdvantage account but, the monthly fee of this plan is nearly half of the FreeAdvantage.
- Like all the other plan of this card, this plan also has ATM fees of US $ 2.50.
- According to me this plan is very profitable one as the overall deal of this plan is the best and you can sign up for this plan during the application process of the plan for this card.
- But if your balance of the card is a bit short then you need to spend US $ 10 per purchase cushion.
Verdict on Netspend Visa card
Overall this card is decent, profitable and a better card than most of other prepaid cards in the ongoing market. All the other cards in the market are not much consumer friendly, NetSpend is better and they also do not have any hidden fees, unless I overlooked. In the Better Business Bureau Netspend has been rated as ‘A’ as the structure of the fee and options for the account are very reasonable as well they have a good review ratings.
I use two brokers for my personal need before I tried Zecco. MB Trading platform and Merill Lynch which came along with my Bank of America Checking account as an additional benefit. I would say it was probably only boon for me from the stock market collapse of 2008. You may want to read my earlier review of MB Trading, which I found one of the very best in business.
I have been using Zecco just for the sake of comparison. As MB Trading started a recent no-activity fee which is irritating to me. Now I do think I would switch to Zecco from MB Trading. Here’s what I found from the discount online brokers, Zecco.
Zecco is an online stock broker. This company has offices in San Francisco, California, Glendale. Word ZECCO means “zero cost commission” trading. This company is operating since July, 2006. However since March 2011 this company is no longer providing free stock trading to its customers. Zecco provides stock, option, mutual fund, bond trading, spot foreign exchange trading service, spot gold, spot silver trading services to its customers.
How To Set Up Account For ZECCO
It is an easy three step process to sign up for Zecco which takes hardly 10-15 minutes to set up an account. Firstly you will need to pay signup fee via wire transfer, paper chec or through ACH transfer from your bank account etc ways. Also you will need to fill all your information including your social security number. Then after 2-3 days you will get your ready to trade account. 2 to 3 days are required for transferring funds. For me it took almost 6 days as there was a week end in between. I remember I had to wait for 15 days for Merill Lynch account to be active and tradable.
Fees and Commissions on Trading
- For Stocks: – they charge $ 4.95 for each trading. also if you trade on equities which are equal to $ 1.00 or less then charges for this trading are 6.95$ per trade. 4.95 $ is way too less than what its competitor companies are currently charging for each transaction.
- Options: – they charge 4.95$ for each trade and additional 0.65$ for each contract. This is very beneficial if the contacts are very less. But if you are taking large number of contracts then this becomes very costly. If this trading is broker assisted then you will be charged $ 19.99 plus charges on each contract is 0.75 $
- Broker assisted trades are 19.99 $
- Zecco provides super cheap price structure also it is very easy to understand this structure.
- Forex spreads are 0.7 pips for major pairs.
- Margin rate is 4.5%
- You can purchase or sell no-load mutual funds via Zecco. If this transaction is internet based then you are charges $ 10 per transaction.
- Treasury transaction fee is $ 24.50 per transaction.
- Bond transaction fee is $ 4.50 per transaction. But the minimum transaction amount is $ 22.50.
Investments Offered by Zecco
Stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, retirement account education savings accounts, spot gold and spot silver. They are now offering Forex trades too. I am inclined towards Forex trades these days.
Trading or Investment Tools
Trading platform offered by Zecco is very basic. Yet they have decent tools for trading complex options. They have tool for identifying potential investment and to analyze them. Also you get tool for trading and to monitor your portfolio.
As a trading help, they do provide free real time quotes, charts and graphs (which MB trading charges fees for) . Also research report is provided to you by standard and poor. In addition to this if you are newbie in the trading field and if you need any guidance on trading, there’s a help for you in form of Zecco’s investor education tool. Also they provide educational videos. Though I found the videos very basic.
Zecco provides descent customer support. You can contact their customer service via email or phone or through online chat. They are trying to establish a trading community – Zeccoshar, where you can share and discuss your issues, opinions and insights with other investors. This his cool feature I think.
When you open an online trading account at Zecco Trading you can also expect:
- Free stock trading IRA – including Traditional, Roth and Rollover IRAs
- Superior trade execution with industry leading trading platform
- Friendly customer service 5 days a week
- Free membership to vibrant financial community of online investors at zecco.com
Awards won by Zecco
- Zecco has won 3 stars in customer service providing in the year 2009. This award was given to Zecco by SmartMoney.
- Also zeco has got 3 stars in the same year 2009 by Barrons Review.
- Though they have won only these awards this company has potential to add more awards to their hall of fame
Verdict on Zecco brokerage account
- Very low commission on trading stocks ( 4.95 $)
- Active social networking community to share and discuss your problems with other traders.
- Free 24×7 online or offline support.
- Free streaming data.
- Free dividend reinvestment.
- No surcharges for large orders.
- You can open account with Zecco with no money down.
- No account minimum, maintenance or deactivation fees.
- There are no II level quotes.
- There is no online mobile trading access for massively used Blackberry or android phones.
- Performance reporting and tax planning services are not free.
- Surcharges of $2 on trad of penny stock.
- Annual IRA fee is $30.
- Extra hour traders have to pay surcharge of $0.005 per share on applicable commission
If you have good experience in trading and if you are looking for low cost and solid service provider, then Zecco is the one of the best options available for you. Trading Education tools are just OK and there are no extra ordinary material there but, still sometimes they are useful for many. Additionally online social community is the best thing for traders. So overall Zecco is good for experienced people and they should open an account with Zecco. But if you are looking for intensive research performed on stocks then Zecco may not be the best option for you.
Readers, what are your opinions about Zecco? Are you satisfied?