Category Archives: economy

Understanding how penny stocks work

Understanding how penny stocks work

Penny stocks generally have a bad name and to be honest here, there is a reason for that. Statistically speaking, 95% of the penny stocks out there are not good investments. Many of them can be absolutely ridiculous but at first glance, it can be hard to tell apart the top penny stocks from the rubbish ones unless you understand the literal definition of trading with penny stocks.

When it comes to penny stocks, it is important to know who you can bring yourself to trust. Penny stocks are not for everyone so obviously before getting started with the concept, you need to brainstorm a little, asking yourself pertinent questions. Are penny stocks right for you? What are the risks you might run into? What are the biggest pitfalls going around out there? To direct you to high-quality shares that can really multiply your investment dollars, Awesome Penny Stocks has a team of members absolutely dedicated to finding companies that have proven management teams, rock-solid fundamentals, growing market shares and an excellent upside potential.

When it comes to penny stocks, the key is to get the right stock at the right time. While the game is obviously not meant for everyone, trading in penny stocks represents a rewarding form of investment in more ways than one.

1. For starters, you got to think about the money. With the right penny stock picks, you can easily transform a few hundred dollars into a few thousand dollars and you can get there just by remaining steadfast in researching the best shares in the different markets

2. Penny stocks represent the only way for people to become part of a company before it turns into something big, becoming a monster out for the kill. By investing in the top penny stocks, you can become part of something big without actually having a degree in your drawer at home or field experience in the cutthroat world of business.

3. Making sense of the endless list of penny stocks and trading in the shares is a great way of learning about the different markets out there without actually committing to any one of them. You make the best of the different worlds and equipped with the knowledge you will undeniably develop, you will, later on, be able to settle in a field that you think has a great potential.

4. Trading in the top penny stocks is exciting and there is a significant potential for rewards there as well. You can get started with a few hundred dollars and no baggage to speak of. Currently, thousands of investors are reaping benefits from penny stocks; you can join them right away.

5. Penny stocks are on the rise. More and more investors are getting involved in this game and with the S.E.C. cracking down scams; the list of penny stocks left behind is pretty safe.

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Filed under economy, Penny Stocks

Beware the hidden cost of an early tax refund

Beware the hidden cost of an early tax refund

We live in a society of instant gratification — cell phones and other mobile devices offer instant access to new music, movies, and other entertainment. It’s not a stretch to extend this idea to our financial affairs; ATMs offer 24-hour access to your money, and more and more transactions take place over the Internet.

This time of year, many families are looking forward to their tax refunds. That combined with the headache of sorting through tax documents and finding what credits you’re eligible for (especially with the new stimulus credits coming), we all feel that the money is somewhat of a reward.

But families, especially working families, must be aware of the dragon lurking in the darkness. His name is RAL.

RALs, or refund anticipation loans, are short-term, high-interest loans made by tax preparers that allow the taxpayer to receive their anticipated refund instantly.

There is little regulation of RALs, and they are increasingly being offered by the same predatory lenders like payday loan companies. Tax preparers and lenders have no restriction on the amount they can charge for a RAL, which means that working families can end up paying a high-interest rate for a loan as short as a few days.

In fact, the preparer doesn’t even have to tell the tax filer that they’re getting a loan — just that they can receive their refund right away. The RAL can eat up a significant chunk of a family’s refund.

But it’s their money, right, so what does it matter?

Actually, much of it is public money that comes from other taxpayers. Many low-income working families receive a variety of tax credits.

The federal earned income tax credit (EITC) is one such refund. Last year, New Mexico’s working families received more than $370 million from the EITC. New Mexico’s working families tax credit (WFTC) refunds another 10 percent of the EITC amount. Both credits were designed to help lift working families out of poverty, and provide financial assistance to families and children in need.

But this money can end up going to an unintended source — the tax preparer.

In 2005, almost 200,000 New Mexico tax filers received an EITC, and one-quarter of these filers got a RAL. According to H&R Block’s Web site, a RAL for about $1,000 refund costs $140 — or, more than 10 percent; more than what is refunded by the WFTC.

Tax filers may be so enticed by the instant gratification of a quick refund that they may not carefully consider the financial consequences. Some don’t realize that they can get their full refund if they are willing to wait a few days.

Many also do not realize that free tax preparation is available to low-income families, and, when returns are filed electronically, they can get their refund in as little as a week. Direct deposit can make the wait even shorter.

Simply put, the practice of RALs damaging the abilities to work families to improve their economic status.

The legislation was introduced in the recently concluded legislative session that would have required that tax preparers disclose that what they are offering is a loan, and what the interest rates will be. Unfortunately, that bill went nowhere.

Predatory lending practices are nothing new, but in economic times such as this, we need to keep as many families afloat and out of poverty as we can.

Regulation of RALs through the full disclosure of fees, disclosure of how long the refund normally takes, and a limit on the amount a tax preparer or lender can charge, will help solve this problem.

But the problem can only really be solved if state lawmakers show more concern for the welfare of New Mexico’s low-income working families than the welfare of unscrupulous businesses.

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Filed under economy, Politics

Attracting fewer international students, New Mexico loses out on big money

Attracting fewer international students, New Mexico loses out on big money

“The Open Doors 2011″ report released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) notes New Mexico colleges and universities have enrolled fewer international students this year than last, amounting to a 6 percent drop off.

The findings of the report determined New Mexico State University led all state higher education institutions in lower enrollment among international students, driving the overall state countdown.

According to The Association of International Educators, International students are a boon to the U.S. economy — a self-described “conservative” estimate points to $20 billion in additional economic activity as a result of foreign students studying in the U.S.

New Mexico’s intake of that spending pie is roughly $55 million from a mix of tuition, fees, and living expenses for 2010-2011.

While targeting international students expands the diversity of a campus, it also brings in more money for the colleges. Unlike in-state residents, international students pay full tuition. At NMSU the two categories pay $2,913.60 and $9,134.40, respectively.

International students are so lucrative that many universities pay international student recruiters a commission-based salary to attract more full-paying pupils. That practice is not permitted for U.S.-based students.

Nationally, enrollment among international students was up by 5 percent to 723,277. New Mexico was the destination for 2,724 of those pupils.

“It is positive news that our higher education institutions continue to excel in attracting students from all over the world, and in preparing American students to succeed in an increasingly global environment,” said Allan Goodman, President, and CEO of the Institute of International Education, in a statement.  “Educational exchange in both directions furthers business and cultural ties between the United States and other countries.”

The IIE report also notes China was the leading sending country of U.S. bound foreign students, totaling 158,000. Another Asian country, India, came in second with 104,000.

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Filed under economy