June 25, 2018, 5:08 am

Get The Best Price When You Sell Gold Coins

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk

Investing in gold coins can’t be a one-way street. You need flexibility and the ability to trade gold coins back and forth to respond to market changes and adjust your portfolio appropriately. A smart investor doesn’t just sit on their portfolio. Even passive investors need to make adjustments to meet their investment goals. But when your portfolio includes gold coins (which it should), how do you sell gold and get the best possible price?

Expect Spot Prices on Gold Coins

If you’ve done your research on gold coins and invested strictly in bullion gold coins, expect to sell gold coins at or near spot prices at the time of sale. That’s the price you would pay if you bought gold coins today, plus premiums, so expect it when you cash in. There will likely be fees such as shipping and insurance, which should always be factored into your earnings calculations before you sell. Always know the exact gold contents of your coins, including purity and weight.

Sell Gold Coins to Online Gold Sellers

Reputable gold sellers should be the first place you go to sell your gold coins. If they operate online like Silver Gold Bull, it’s even easier to do business with them. Always do your research into gold buyers. Check their credentials and reviews online and make sure they’re the real thing. Here’s what happens when you sell gold to a dealer like Silver Gold Bull:

  1. -Fill out a quick online form with product details to get a quote
  2. -Get a shipping label with insurance from the company once you’re approved
  3. -Get paid as soon as your gold coins are verified

If you’re selling bullion gold coins, never go to a pawnbroker or a cash-for-gold business. These are better options if you’re selling gold jewelry that will fetch a smaller price. That’s because gold jewelry is typically melted down for bullion, incurring higher costs. That process doesn’t need to be done for bullion gold coins.

Hold onto Gold Coins

Successfully investing in gold coins means carefully watching the market. You have to take your portfolio’s needs into consideration when you decide to buy or sell gold coins. If you need to cash in to fund another investment and balance your portfolio, it’s time to take the profits. However, gold often does best in the long-term and it can be risky to sell off your insurance policy. You may want to hold out for higher gold prices in the long-term rather than opt for marginal gains today.

Trade Gold Coins for Silver

When you trade in your gold coins, you don’t necessarily have to do it for cash. With online gold sellers like Silver Gold Bull, you can easily exchange gold coins for silver or vice versa. Why would investors swap gold for silver? Both precious metals tend to move in tandem, but silver rises and falls at a greater rate than gold. On a positive upswing for metals, you may want a higher exposure to silver, but then trade silver for gold coins to protect yourself from downsides.

With these rules in mind, you’re ready to sell your gold coins.

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June 18, 2018, 11:21 am

The Most Successful Investments Made by Poker Pros Revealed

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk


Image: Pixabay.com
Caption: From small poker acorns do big businesses grow

What’s the best way of turning money into even more money? Investing it. That’s what some of the legends of the poker industry have successfully achieved with their profits made at the tables. When you consider just how much prize money is on offer in the poker industry today, it’s unsurprising the very best in the business choose to diversify their profits by investing in initiatives outside of Texas hold’em. Last year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event saw the third-highest prize pool in the history of poker tournaments, with $67,877,400 up for grabs. The top ten professionals in terms of live career earnings include the enigmatic Phil Hellmuth, who just so happens to be one of the shrewder investors of his poker winnings, as we will explain in more detail shortly.

There are many poker icons that have successfully diversified their poker fortunes into even more profitable business ventures. If you’re familiar with the world of poker, you’ll almost certainly have heard of this trio of poker gods-turned-entrepreneurs:

Jerry Buss: Successful owner of the LA Lakers

For a number of years, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Jerry Buss was a high-stakes Texas hold’em cash game player. He had been a major player in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas card rooms and then became a regular entrant in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) events in the 1990s. Buss’ best-ever finish was a third-place finish in a seven-card stud WSOP tournament, followed by a runner-up finish in a World Poker Tour (WPT) invitational event back in 2003. A charismatic individual, Buss was also invited to play on NBC’s Poker After Dark television series, as well as the High Stakes Poker series on GSN.

Using much of the revenue he had generated from the cash game and tournament poker tables in the late 80s and early 90s, Buss then invested heavily in professional sports teams in Los Angeles. He spent $67.5 million on acquiring the World TeamTennis side, the LA Strings, the NBA giants, the LA Lakers and the NHL outfit, the LA Kings. Undoubtedly, Buss’ most successful investment was his purchase of the Lakers, where he was able to attract a string of big-name stars to the Lakers roster; namely Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. It was his desire to provide world-class entertainment for the fans that led in the Lakers’ ‘Showtime’ era. His financial contribution to basketball was marked by an induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 prior to his 2013 death.

Dan Harrington: Real estate riches with Anchor Loans

72-year-old Dan Harrington, nicknamed ‘Action Dan’ in the poker fraternity, is best known for winning the WSOP Main Event in 1995. Harrington had been a successful bankruptcy lawyer for a number of years prior to entering the world of poker and business. Harrington learnt his trade playing poker at the Mayfair Club in the 1980s, sitting alongside some of the other household names of professional poker in Erik Seidel and Howard Lederer. Harrington made the final table of the 1987 WSOP Main Event, finishing in sixth place and started to generate solid revenues from his love of tight-conservative Texas hold’em.

Harrington began to dabble in real estate and stocks and shares before co-founding an enterprise of his own with two of his friends in the world of poker, Stephen Pollack and Jeff Lipton. In 1998, Anchor Loans was established, providing short-term loans to ‘fix-and-flip’ real estate investors. The company has funded more than $5.3 billion in short-term loans in its 20 years of business. Harrington retired from the business in 2010 but is still a shareholder in the company. Harrington has a long and proud history as a poker author, publishing a string of books on online and offline cash games in Texas hold’em no-limit, suitable for beginners and intermediate players. Although he penned a book on ‘Modern Tournament Poker’ in 2014, he hasn’t gone as far as writing about some of the latest poker room incarnations such as SNAP poker that is fast-fold and offers instant gratification for millennial players. Although Harrington’s live tournament earnings are barely a quarter of Phil Hellmuth’s, it’s obvious that Harrington has diversified his poker revenues impressively into real estate and publishing.

Phil Hellmuth: Book publisher extraordinaire


pp-ed-how-good-phil-hellmuth” (CC BY 2.0) by Chingster23

Caption: Poker Brat turned publisher for the sharp-tongued American

Phil Hellmuth is one of the larger-than-life characters in the world of professional poker. The aptly-named ‘Poker Brat’ has never taken kindly to losing at anything in life, most certainly not at the poker tables, and his will to win has helped him become one of the most respected poker pros on the tour. As of last year, his live tournament earnings were in excess of $21 million, sitting eighth in the all-time winnings list. Hellmuth also holds a record 14 WSOP gold bracelets and also holds the record for the most amount of cashes at WSOP events, standing at 108. These landmarks further serve to commemorate the commitment and passion Hellmuth has held for his poker craft through the years.

Hellmuth has always had a passion for telling stories and, in 2009, as the poker boom started to decline somewhat, he opted to set up his own publishing house with a view of allowing fellow poker professionals to tell their own accounts of life at the tables and away from the felt. The book, Deal Me In: 20 of the World’s Top Poker Players Share the Heartbreaking and Inspiring Stories of How They Turned Pro, written by Stephen John and Marvin Karlins, has proven to be extremely successful among the poker community. Amateurs and semi-pros alike have found it particularly inspiring to see how even the world’s most powerful poker stars had to work hard to build their bankrolls from the outset. It also reinforces that those who have the courage to dream big can, and often will, succeed.

Poker is a gruelling and demanding profession. Even those who stick at it for many decades will look to have downtime away from the tables to keep fresh. What better way for successful poker players to take their heads out of the game than to invest some of their riches in generating more income on the side.

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June 13, 2018, 4:55 am

A Brief History of Bingo & How It Took The Internet By Storm

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance


Bingo” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by ashleyt

Here at The Financial Blogger, we cover a variety of money-related topics, whether they be the more serious subjects such as loans and budgets or simply tips on how to make a little extra cash doing online surveys. We’ve also covered online games in the past, particularly those that fall within the iGaming genre as these are online games played for real money. We’ve discussed tips on how to succeed at online poker, the best payment methods to use at online casinos and we’ve even skimmed the surface of how bitcoin can be used in the online gaming arena.

However, one subject we are yet to cover in the world of online gaming is online bingo; arguably the most popular online game of all.

Where Does Bingo Come From?


130509-N-ZM744-028” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by SurfaceWarriors

Though statistics may lead you to believe that bingo originated in the UK, it actually all started in Italy with a weekly lottery named Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia that still continues to this day. The Italian lottery began in 1530 after the country was united and, much like modern-day lotteries, was won by whoever managed to correlate the numbers on their ticket with those picked at random from a huge collection of numbered balls. Unsurprisingly this lottery became extremely popular and soon spread to France in the 1700s, where it was renamed Le Lotto and was played by most of the very fanciest French aristocracy.

It was when the lottery transitioned to France that we first see the playing cards being divided into sections. There were three horizontal rows crisscrossed with nine vertical rows, with random numbers from 1 to 90 resting in each section except for four that were mysteriously left blank. Players would then gather together to listen to someone call out the numbers written on randomly selected tokens, marking off any numbers that appeared on their playing card. The first person to fill out an entire horizontal row was the winner.

These lottery games soon spread throughout Europe, many resembling what we know today as bingo, but it wasn’t until December 1929 that true modern bingo was born. New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe was driving to Jacksonville, USA when he noticed a country carnival taking place. He soon noticed that every single booth at the carnival was closed except for one that was absolutely packed, where it seemed players were sat around a horseshoe-shaped table covered in numbered cards and beans.

The locals called the game Beano, and it very much resembled the lotteries that had been played in Europe for centuries. The caller selected numbered disks from a cigar box, stating the numbers as the players quickly placed beans over the numbers on their cards. Once a player managed to get a line they would shout “Beano!” and be awarded a Kewpie doll. Lowe saw just how popular the game was and decided to make his own version, using dried beans, some cardboard and a rubber numbering stamp.

After returning to New York, Lowe invited many of his friends around to play his new game. Before long, his friends were just as into the game as those that had been at the carnival, with one woman shouting “BINGO!” instead of beano due to the excitement. Thus, Edwin S. Lowe’s Bingo! was created and became an overnight success, spreading through America without stopping. Soon the entire world was playing bingo, either engaging in games with family at home or travelling to dedicated bingo halls to compete against other fanatics. It was in 1968 that bingo was formalised in the UK under the UK Gaming Act and by 1986 when the National Bingo Game became legal, almost everyone was playing throughout Britain.

Alas, as the years went by, newer generations had many other pastimes to consider and soon bingo became a game reserved for older people. It wasn’t until bingo made the transition onto the internet that it began picking up popularity again.

The Beginning of Online Bingo

The first online bingo sites appeared in 2003, attracting numerous casual gamers who had flocked to the internet. In 2013, it was estimated that the European Union online bingo market was worth about €926.6m, €312m of which came from the UK – the world’s largest online bingo market. As playing online games for money became more popular at online casinos, bingo soon became attached to the iGaming industry, appearing alongside table games and slots at numerous online sites. According to Statista, this online gambling market was worth an estimated total of $37.91billion in 2015 and may increase to $59.79 billion by 2020.

Why is Online Bingo so Successful?

Considering the historical popularity of bingo, it’s not difficult to understand how the game itself became popular. After all, it’s a game of chance that allows us to play with family and friends without really being responsible for who wins or loses. It’s easy, it’s friendly and above all, bingo is fun. Still, even a successful game like bingo found it difficult to compete with more modern pastimes such as video game consoles, the internet and other 21stcentury activities.

So, instead of slowly dying off and resigning itself to history, bingo revitalised itself by taking over the world wide web. Now, there are quite literally thousands of online bingo sites, so many that platforms like Oddschecker now sift through them all to find no-deposit offers and deals for online bingo enthusiasts. After all, not every online bingo site is created equal and if they want your business they best be offering a great deal.

No longer is bingo resigned to a town hall or abandoned cinema building like it was in the 90s; now players can jump online anytime, anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. On desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, online bingo sites are easily accessible and offer a wide variety of games suitable for almost every playing style.

Of course, it wasn’t just the game itself that made bingo popular all those years ago, it was also the human factors such as socialising and comradery. To add a little more socialisation into internet-centric games, online bingo sites have always had chat boxes, which allow players to converse. More recently, bingo sites have started introducing live streams, which allow players to watch and converse with a real-life, professional caller.

The more reliable a site is, the more games they offer and the more social aspects it has, the more popular an online bingo site will be. Of course, a good welcome package doesn’t hurt either. This is how online bingo became one of the most popular games not only on the internet but in the entire world. In fact, we’d like to know if you yourself play online bingo and if you’ve ever had any success? Let us know in the comments below.

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June 5, 2018, 7:50 am

5 Affordable Home Loan Options

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

In today’s economy, it might seem like home ownership is out of reach for any but the rich, or at least “well to do,” but the fact is, there are home loan options that are practical for even those with relatively low incomes.

And many of these loans don’t require perfect credit, a large down payment, or a long, grueling application process either. Exploring your home loan options and taking advantage of the best program available that fits your needs can make the process simple and convenient.

Here are 5 of the most popular home loan types that work well for those with low to moderate incomes:

1. FHA Loans

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans used to be only for those with high incomes and great credit scores. But those days are long gone. It’s’ fairly common nowadays to get an FHA loan approved for manufactured home – and manufactured home loans can be tailor made to make them eminently affordable.

You can take out an FHA loan with only a 3.5% down payment, a FICO score as low as 500 (if you can explain the reason), and with relatively low income if it’s reliable. Single family, multi-unit, manufactured, and mobile homes can all qualify. So long as a bank underwrites the loan and it’s structure meets FHA standards, you can be in your new home in short order.

2. Rural Housing Loans

Despite the name, rural housing loans (USDA rural development loans), are also available for the suburbs and small towns. They are specifically targeted at low to medium income families (up to 115% of local area median income qualifies.)

Special advantages of these loans include: you can lump in home repairs/upgrades with the loan principal, your PMI fee is the absolute lowest of all loans (.35%), and there are zero “surprise fees” due at closing.

3. Home Renovation Loans

A home renovation loan (FHA 203k) is a mortgage that lets you buy a house to then immediately fix it up and make it more livable. It only requires 3.5% down and is very similar to standard FHA loans (#1 above).

However, you will need to borrow more than the purchase price to cover renovations, which means this loan type requires good credit, though not extremely high income, to get approved.

4. VA Home Loans

If you are a US Armed Force member or your deceased spouse was, then you will qualify for a special no money down VA loan. If you’re an honorably discharged vet who served a minimum of 6 years, you also qualify.

You will not have to buy mortgage insurance to get approved (though it’s still a good idea if you can afford it). Imperfect credit is not normally a problem with VA loans, and even bankruptcies won’t necessarily disqualify you.

5. HomePath Mortgages

HUD’s HomePath mortgage program is offered through Fannie Mae and is widely available to low-income families all over the US.

This loan type adds in the incomes of all who will live in the house, even though not all will be on the mortgage. It thus raises your DTI (debt to income) ratio and makes approval easier. This is for purchase of HUD homes only. It requires only 3% down and gives you a 3% bonus credit to use for closing costs IF you complete the “homebuyer education course.”

There are other affordable home loan programs out there too, but these 5 are easily the most common. Most people will be able to qualify for one or more of these loan-types, making home ownership truly realistic.

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May 31, 2018, 8:34 am

Why The Food Truck Industry Will Continue to Grow

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business

Spring and Summer are great seasons for those who work in the food industry, and especially for food truck owners. As the weather gets warmer, more and more people will be out and about, and nothing makes a stroll more pleasant than eating some food on the go.

In today’s food industry, food trucks are the fastest-growing business with numbers that keep growing year by year. Food trucks have been around for a long time, but now they’re experiencing their true golden age. In 2012, the food truck industry revenue was estimated $650 million, a number that has since skyrocketed reaching a whopping $2.7 billion in 2017. Food trucks outpaced other commercial food services and can be kick-started with a rather small investment. Food trucks are the next generation of food service, so knowing how to make the best out of them is a must for most modern restaurant entrepreneurs.

What makes food trucks so popular?

If you’re a first-time entrepreneur, a food truck can prove to be more profitable than a small cafeteria or eatery. With an initial investment of less than $100,000, anyone can setup a profitable food truck business that can make anywhere between $250,000 to $500,000 per year.

Their flexibility makes them quite unique, as an entrepreneur can quickly and easily test different menu items, recipes and even new concepts with a minimum risk. Strategies and offers can be conveniently tailored to specific customer preferences in a very cost-effective way, and the truck itself can be customized and personalized to increase your audience.

Mobile services are easily paired with mobile communication, which is a must to stay up to date with the latest food trends. Millenials, in particular, like to “post” their food on social social media before eating it, and sharing is a fundamental part of eating nowadays. With a properly planned social strategy, food trucks can generate immediate responses even from the most time-starved audiences.

Food trailers are highly mobile businesses that can cater different tastes in different locations at an amazing speed. Changing locations allows them move out from “dead zones” during low seasons, and move only where the best profit opportunities are. They can also follow the masses, and reach out for the largest audiences by setting up near concerts, events and neighborhood parties by making smart use of geolocation tools.

Many brick-and-mortar restaurants use custom truck builders to to make their business mobile, and hit the road with trucks that serve as moving marketing vehicles with the same branding the customers know from the restaurant. Regardless of your situation, you’ll want to make sure that you spend time branding the vehicle to make your food truck easily recognizable.

The requirements to run a food truck

There are a few things you need to do if you want to run a legit food truck service. Every region has its own codes and regulations on food trucks, so you want to know them beforehand to comply with them. Mobile vending laws and parking permits change in every city, so be sure to check the specific ones rather than just state or county laws. You may need to provide proof of ownership, insurance, identification and vehicular license, so get all your documents ready before rolling into to a different city.

Then, you should confirm the minimum distance you can be from a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Other than just being compliant with local laws, you might want to keep competition fair at all times. Also, find out if you need a commissary to prepare food before serving and meet all health and fire codes to get approved by the local board of health.

Other than just to receive formal approval to market your products, some of these regulations are useful to help you provide your customers with only the best quality food possible. For example, by making sure that food is stored and kept in proper temperature, you can prevent it from spoiling especially in the case of highly perishable foods such as fruit or seafood.

Conclusion

As you can see, the right time to find a food truck for sale is today rather than tomorrow. The market is full of very affordable offers, but their price is destined to increase in the upcoming years. As this industry is growing at a steady pace, making this investment now can help you make a hefty profit with very little efforts.

Are you thinking of hitting the road on your own food truck journey? Leave us a comment with your best food truck concept ideas and let us know what you thought of this article.

 

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