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12 Cognitive Biases that Hurt Our Finances [Infographic]




12 Cognitive Biases that Hurt Our Finances infographic

Benjamin Graham, an American investor and economist, was onto something when he once said that “the investor’s chief problem — and even his worst enemy — is likely to be himself.” That’s because when it comes to money, sometimes our minds can get in the way of our success. Who to we have to thank for this self-sabotage? Cognitive biases, or errors in reasoning that affect judgement and decision-making.

Cognitive biases can wreak havoc on our finances, keeping us from spending wisely and saving diligently. They can even tank our credit and cause us to make unwise investing decisions, like the one-third of investors who continued to over-confidently spend on a project even after receiving advice that it was no longer wise.

With so much room for error, it’s no wonder that seven in ten Americans admit to postponing making major financial decisions. The good news is that once you start recognizing your own cognitive biases as they come up, some simple tweaks in mindset can put you back on the path to financial prosperity.

This infographic from Self Lender identifies some of the most common biases and gives tips on how to avoid them.

12 Cognitive Biases that Hurt Our Finances

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SEE ALSO: 12 Tips to Raise Your Prices Without Turning Away Customers [Infographic]

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4 Reasons Millennials Should Invest in Real Estate Now




4 Reasons Millennials Should Invest in Real Estate Now

If you’re born between 1982 and 2004, then you’re a certified millennial. Whether you’re now in your mid-20s or late 30s, this is the age in which you may be establishing your career or managing a business to your name. This only signifies that you now have the means to go into the investment market, which is a great way to grow your fund and assets.

Even better is the fact that you have a whole range of options on where to put your money, one of which is real estate. As a traditional form of investment, real estate provides you with tangible property assets that you can acquire at a cost you can afford, especially now that home prices remain quite steady. With that said, real estate can be a good investment option that you should explore in these times.

Here are more reasons why your generation of millennials should invest now, with a special focus on real estate:

1. Real estate serves as a source of passive income

Passive income refers to the money you earn even if you’re not working for it. It’s the opposite of working in a 9-to-5 job, where you get paid every 15 days or so, depending on the compensation method in the company you work for.

With passive income, you’re able to generate money in the form of rentals. You could buy a home or a building and rent it out to other people or companies who can’t afford to buy their own property yet. You may dictate how much rental fee you’re going to charge to your tenants, especially if your property is located in a strategic place, such as those near schools, hospitals, or commercial centers.

Month after month, you just wait for your income from rentals, making real estate really helpful in giving you return on investment (ROI).

2. Buying real estate offers more practicality than renting a property

Owning a home is the goal of every worker or entrepreneur. Needless to say, you can’t accomplish this goal if you choose to rent a property since there’s no way it will be yours even after a long time of paying rent. Instead, it’s your landlord or the property owner who benefits directly from your monthly rentals as they get to keep the money, month after month and year after year.

Nowadays, you can choose from a wide variety of housing options—from bungalows to a townhouse or condominium—depending on your needs and resources.

For instance, one of the benefits of condo living is that it is in tune with your busy lifestyle. As such, you’ll find that most condominiums house physical fitness centers, convenience stores, retail shops, and other one-stop service establishments within the building premises so that you don’t have to go far to get the things you need.

You also get to save a lot of money this way since you don’t have to spend on transportation costs, such as fuel, parking fees, taxi fare, and the like.

3. The country’s thriving economy puts premium value on real estate investments

When you invest, you expect to get some returns out of it. With real estate investments, the ROI can come in several ways. Earlier, it was mentioned that renting out your property is one form of income generated from real estate investments.

What you should also know is that you can get so much value from buying real estate now, which is the time when the country’s economy is growing alongside its Asian neighbors. Investors are coming in because the Philippine government is going all out on developing infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports, and so on.

With business investments contributing to the growth of the Philippine economy, real estate developers take it as an opportunity to attract people into buying properties by offering good deals. By investing in real estate now, you can look forward to the value of your property increasing in no time.

Waiting for a couple of years may be costlier since market conditions are dependent on a country’s economic performance, which is something you can’t control or predict on your own.

4. Real estate developments are designed for millennials’ preferences

Buying a home space isn’t only about fulfilling the basic need of having shelter. At the end of a long day at work, you want to be able to come home to a place where you can rest, relax, and enjoy.

Fortunately, many real estate developments today consider these things. From the floor layout to the aesthetic design and safety engineering, you’ll find that many properties for sale are suitable to your standards. You don’t have to spend a lot of extra money to spruce them up because they already look and feel great from inside out.

Final Words

As with any investment, you first need to study your options carefully when buying real estate properties. The key is in setting your goals and then coming up with a strategy that can help you reap the benefits of investing in real estate.

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Online Pawnshops : Everything You Need to Know





Are you suddenly in need of funds? Either it could be for a wedding preparation, paying for a hospital bills, business investment, buying a property, and so on. Whatever reason it may be, there are times that borrowing money is unavoidable.

Naturally, your first instinct will be to acquire a loan from a bank, government office, or any credible institution. This option is generally reliable, but your application for a loan will require a screening process that will take several days to accomplish.

If you don’t have the luxury of time or simply want to avoid the formalities, you can opt to ask for your friends and family for financial assistance. However, it’s also important to note that issues may arise if your deal isn’t done with care.

These options can be great solutions to your financial dilemma, but it’s all a case-to-case basis. If you’re not too keen on these methods, luckily, there’s a better alternative available. If you have some valuables that you no longer use, doing business with a pawnshop is a simple and convenient way to get more money.

Thanks to innovations in technology, traditional forms of transactions have now become more accessible through the internet. Other than banking and finance, the pawnbroking industry has also found its way into the digital space. Nowadays, you can easily acquire the services of a pawnshop with just a click.

To make things easier for you, we’ll show you how online pawnshops work, what you can pawn, and how to get the most out of things you’re planning to sell. Take a look at this infographic for more details.

Online Pawnshops

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Credit Card Hacks : How to Prevent Fraud




Credit Card Hacks How to Prevent Fraud

Every time you swipe your credit card or enter your account information online, chances are you’re being targeted by a fraudster ready to exploit victims who don’t take precautions.

Credit card fraud refers to the different types of illegal and unauthorized use of a credit card to acquire goods, enjoy services, or withdrawing funds from an account without the intention of paying for them.

How does credit card fraud occur?

There are generally four ways fraudsters get right down to business:

1. By using a lost or stolen credit card
2. By skimming a card or using a special machine that clones it after one swipe
3. By stealing credit card and other account info from online databases
4. By applying for a new card using another person’s details without their consent

Credit card fraud typically happens alongside other crimes such as identity theft and hacking. Recent data breaches involving credit reporting agency Equifax and credit card company Capital One, for example, have left the personal data and financial records of hundreds of millions of people exposed online for identity thieves and fraudsters to exploit.

It’s this combination of data and identity theft arising from security breaches and the lack of vigilance on the part of the consumer that makes it easier for criminals to tap into and manipulate people’s finances.

Even without a massive breach occurring, cases of fraud might continue to go unnoticed if the account holder pays little attention to the transactions showing up on their statement. The first step to detecting fraud, therefore, is to stay alert when it comes to your credit card use and in monitoring your finances.

While you want to spend wisely with your credit card, keeping tabs on purchases—no matter how small—is just as important in staying secure. Monitoring what type of purchase and where and when it was made will clue you in on the suspicious activity.

There are also other ways to help you protect yourself from credit card fraud. These tips range from keeping the actual physical card secure to doubling down the protection on your online account.

How to keep your credit card and receipts safe

1. Always sign a new card immediately upon receiving it. This prevents thieves from forging your signature in case they get a hold of the actual card.

2. Don’t place your credit cards all in one wallet to minimize the risk, as well as the hassle of having to report multiple cards in case you lose your wallet.

3. Be vigilant at all times when paying. Keep an eye on your card when handing it off to the cashier.

4. While you may be feeling generous at times, never lend your card to anyone unless you are confident it will be in good hands.

5. File all your credit reports, transaction records, billing statements and receipts, safely in a place only you know or one that requires an access code. Keep your records with personally identifiable information such as social security and credit card numbers away from prying eyes.

6. Carefully examine whether the amount included in your billing statement reflects the same amount in your receipt. Any discrepancy should be taken as an indication of suspicious activity.

7. Double-check details such as purchases and the date and location of the transaction, specifically those you do not recall making at shops or restaurants you do not regularly visit.

8. If you must discard any documents, remember to shred them first and ensure your personal details are no longer identifiable in the printout.

9. If you must discard old credit cards, remember to cut them up and specifically destroy the chip and magnetic strip to bar any future financial transactions.

10. Never provide your account details over the phone unless you made the call and are sure about the transaction and its purpose.

How to secure your online accounts

1. Set an alphanumeric password that cannot be easily associated with your other personal details such as your name, birth date, or even the names of your family members and pets.

2. Activate a multifactor authentication system on your online bank account or mobile banking app. This can be a combination of a text-based password, a one-time SMS code or a text-based password, and biometric data such as your fingerprint, iris or facial scan.

3. Change your password periodically and never write it down on just any random piece of paper.

4. Monitor your online bank accounts weekly, if not daily. Report any suspicious activity immediately.

5. Never open your account when accessing through public Wi-Fi or on a public device. This is a hotbed of identity thieves and fraudsters looking for their next victim.

How to protect yourself against scams

1. Never respond to a suspicious email asking you to click on a link, download a file, or input details into an online form. No matter how tempting an offer may seem, remember that reputable companies will never prompt you to perform such activities through email.

2. Initiate transactions using only the official website of a company. Check whether the URL or website address has any misspellings or weird alphanumeric combinations. This is a sign you may be looking at a fraudulent website trying to mimic a legitimate one.

3. Check the details of the website you are accessing. Reputable sites have the extra bit https:// and a lock icon in the URL bar. This indicates the page you are accessing is secure.

4. Never communicate with anyone claiming to be a representative or agent of a company that you did not request to contact you.

Being alert when it comes to credit card fraud will help you stay on top of your finances and keep you from falling into the trap of fraudsters, hackers, and identity thieves.

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