Thursday, September 23, 2021
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Reach Your Financial Milestones – MintLife Blog


To celebrate and recognize how our Minters are reaching their financial milestones, we reached out to everyday Mint users like you to share their stories. Whether it’s meeting your savings goals or paying off your credit card debt, every win counts!

We connected with Zaiba, a financial analyst from Canada, to learn more about her experience with Mint and how it has helped her and her husband meet their financial goals. Read on to learn more about their #Empowermint story.

I’ve always been very involved in my finances and budgeting and studied banking and finance in school. Budgeting is extremely important to me as it helps me make smarter financial decisions and understand where to cut my expenses while also helping me get the most out of my savings.

I was looking for a good budgeting app for a while when I came across Mint in an article. I first used Mint six months ago (wish I found it sooner!) To keep track of my finances and create a budget. The constant use of the app helps my husband and I meet our budget, pay our monthly bills on time and still be able to save so we can invest to earn a higher income.

Mint has helped my husband and I in many ways, the main one being saving up for a quicker repayment of our mortgage loan. When my husband and I bought our first house at the beginning of the year, we wanted to keep an eye on all our cash inflows and outflows and get a holistic picture of our finances. Mint has been an incredible tool that has helped us better understand our finances and make informed decisions. In addition, Mint has also helped us fund the purchase of our new luxury car and save more for current and future investments. We use Mint every day and use all of the in-app features. I particularly like the “Spending Less Challenge” because it motivates me to stay within my spending limits and limit unnecessary and impulsive purchases.

My favorite part about the Mint app is that it links all of my accounts in one place, which gives me a clear picture of my overall financial condition. This helps me determine my financial goals and track my expenses as I know which areas to focus on! Using Mint has also helped me become more disciplined when it comes to making payments on time and saving more to meet my goals.

Whatever your financial goal, Mint is a GREAT tool that not only helps you quantify your expenses, debts and income, but also helps you understand and prioritize your financial needs and wants.

Author's photo

Annemarie Belda (21 posts)

Annemarie Belda is communications manager at Intuit Mint. Her passion is helping readers achieve their financial goals, from opening a savings account to gaining financial freedom.

Financial advisers must seek their own advice


To steal a line from the medical world, counselors should consider listening more to their own advice in setting personal and professional goals and dealing with burnout.

That could at least be concluded from the results of a recent survey of the consultancy market by New York Life Investment Management. For example, almost all consultants make some type of goal setting a central element of planning for their clients, but only 42% write down their personal and professional goals and often refer to them as the survey found. Only one in four firmly adheres to their goals and believes they will contribute to success.

However, this type of planning is more important than ever as both consultants and their clients continue to grapple with the aftermath of the coronavirus. Burnout is an overused word, but a more common problem even as the economy is slowly opening up again. The survey suggests that counselors are better able to cope with the stress of their work. Many struggle to find the time to stay fresh, motivated, and develop their skills. Nonetheless, only 34% of counselors place their own physical health a daily priority.

While there is an increasing trend towards a team-based approach to client account management, 30% of consultants surveyed still choose to keep their goals to themselves rather than sharing them with a trusted group of people, and nearly half ( 45%) often choose to go it alone managing customer issues. This reluctance to connect with colleagues can discourage counselors from having good new ideas and viewpoints, and adding to personal stress, even if a global health crisis like the one we are currently experiencing does not occur.

Core qualities

Resilience, connectedness, goal setting, boldness and intrinsic motivation are among the core qualities that are required for success as a financial advisor. This is a difficult skill to assemble in the best of times, and as we all know it wasn’t. The lack of face-to-face meetings in a high-touch business was a particular challenge. But there are ways to handle this. We have identified a five-step process that can help consultants develop many of the traits shared by industry leaders, a group we refer to as “Top Consultants.”

  1. vision. What is your vision for you and your practice? It should be clear, focused, and easy to articulate. Write it down. Research has shown that if you put it down in writing, you are 40% more likely to achieve a goal.
  2. Believe. The best way to start realizing your vision is to pretend you are already there. Success leads to more success.
  3. self talk. Stay positive, stay aware of the dialogue you are creating, and don’t get stuck in a mental rut. Don’t let these voices in your head stop you from doing what you need to do to make your practice work.
  4. Enter the zone. Clean up the mental clutter and focus on where you want to be.
  5. Deliver. Don’t leave projects unfinished. Set deadlines and meet them. Finish tasks.

Pandemic or not, there is always an opportunity to learn and do better. Consultants recognize this, with one in three believe they have “some” skills but need to learn more to get better results, according to the survey. One area that could use some improvement: listening. Only 27% of the consultants we surveyed considered themselves “great listeners”, which we would consider another core competency for success in the industry and a quality that is often found among the top companies.

Another is persistence. For example, clients do not always agree on a recommended strategy or investment idea the first time. But if the idea or strategy is highly persuasive, it pays to stick with it. However, our research has shown that only 20% of consultants continue to present an idea after a customer rejects it.

Thinking off the balance sheet

The best advisors take a holistic approach to a client’s wealth – identifying ways to advance family, career, philanthropy, and life and legacy goals. Many advisors were challenged by clients on these off-balance sheet fronts during the pandemic, helping individuals and families deal with stress and isolation, and also providing financial advice. This is a role many would never have expected, and the need to reinforce yourself in this way is almost certainly contributing to the consultants’ burnout.

This is the bad news. The good news: for many consultants, help is very close: their own advice.

Jennifer Tarsney is the head of Adviser to funding institute at New York Life Investments.

Debt Snowball Method – A Free Tool


from Hope

They say in hindsight it’s 20/20 and I would definitely agree. I think we all agree that if I’d just picked one plan and stuck to it, I would have been out of debt much sooner. Even though our life was really what I consider a great adventure and roller coaster ride, I wish I knew then what I know today.

I thought I was sharing a resource that I actually found back then but never fully used or followed. The debt snowball excel template. I’m not sure what moved me to look for it all those years ago. But I’ve used the same thing every time I’ve been empowered to get out of debt.

Debt reduction calculator: Excel template from

Debt Reduction Calculator: Excel Template

If you scroll down about half the page, you can download the Excel template for free. They have paid versions below, but I don’t know what they contain. I’ve only ever used this free version. (There are no affiliate links here, no tracking, just a link to a spreadsheet that I still use to this day.)

The screenshot above shows where to put in your details and then on a different tab exactly how much to send to each debt each month. And gives you a slot to enter additional payments (which are always for your primary debt goal that month). It’s a really great tool. And every time I “restart” my payout journey, I have updated my numbers and the date.

Do it now, sacrifice now

I wish I had stuck to this plan all those years ago. I wish I knew how good deleveraging feels. It would have changed life in so many ways.

While I feel like I’m finally making good progress, I want to encourage anyone else who is just beginning this journey or starting it again, as I have often done … stick with it. Do it now. Sacrifice now. Wait for these purchases. Wait for these trips. Your children don’t need anything and can do anything.

This is where I am almost gone with my kids after struggling ALL THEIR LIFE and I have just come to a place where I wanted to be when they were young. Make the tough decisions now. You will thank yourself, I promise. And use this great tool as a guide.

Matching of interests | Passive income MD


Matching of interestsintroduction

There are certain terms that get tossed around when you hear seasoned investors doing due diligence on a passive real estate investment business. The passive real estate investments I am referring to are syndications and funds.

One such term is “alignment of interest” or, in simple terms, an agreement in which all parties benefit from a certain outcome.

There are numerous benefits to investing with a sponsor, from accessing greater investment opportunities to receiving returns entirely passively. However, as a passive investor, it is imperative to make sure that your interests align with the people who run the business.

Since partnering with the right sponsor is the foundation of successful syndication, here are a few ways to ensure that your sponsor’s interests align with yours.

Business plan and exit strategy

Before considering investing in a syndication, it is important to understand your sponsor’s business plan and exit strategy, as they are actively managing an asset and making all the major decisions. So don’t be afraid to ask them questions to assess whether the investment is right for you.

Here are some questions you can ask – what is the expected cash flow? Will that be sooner or later? Is the given strategy your core competence? What and where do you want to invest? How long is the investment period? Etc.

Answers to such questions will help you determine your financial alignment with that of the sponsor. It is also important to stay open-minded as the terms previously agreed upon may need to be changed based on market conditions and those decisions are in the hands of your sponsor.

Sponsor co-investment

The amount of co-investment a sponsor makes is possibly one of the biggest markers in matching interests. The more capital a sponsor invests in a business, the higher the risk they are taking, which demonstrates their confidence in the investment. And no gain on their fees can make up for that loss of capital.

Usually sponsors invest between 5 and 10%, but given the number of deals a sponsor enables, it may not be possible to invest 10% in every deal. However, in absolute terms I see significant investment in terms of the incentives and fee structure.

Balance between sponsor fees and fees

As part of their compensation, a sponsor receives fees for brokering a business. These fees are set out in the Private Placement Memorandum (PPM), a contract between sponsors and investors.

Here are some types of fees you can find in a syndication:

Acquisition fee

This fee is earned when closing a property. Sponsors spend weeks, even months, researching, sorting, closing a deal, and part of their co-investment isn’t paid back until a property is sold. Hence, they charge a small amount of 1-2% of the purchase price to purchase an asset, which helps to balance their expense between transactions.

Financing or loan fees

This fee compensates a sponsor for funding such large investment opportunities, which can be time and labor intensive. It is usually 0.5-1% of the total loan amount.

Equity Placement Fees

The broker calculates these in advance to cover the costs related to attracting investors, marketing, coordination and other backend aspects, which typically represent 2-3% of the invested capital.

Asset management fee

This fee reimburses the sponsor for monitoring and managing the asset. Make sure they are in line with their projections and business plan. This amounts to between 1-3% of the rent received or the forecast gross income.

Construction management fee

This fee is applied to businesses that require added value or significant renovation as sponsors spend a lot of time overseeing construction projects and making sure they are on budget and completed on time. Your fee is between 3-5% of the construction costs.


This is a simple reimbursement of sponsor’s prepaid legal and due diligence fees.

Promotion or hurdle fee

This is paid as an incentive for exceeding certain milestones that go beyond the preferred return hurdle. This bonus is usually 1-2%.

Surety fee

Loans often require that a key partner or sponsor mortgage personal assets to guarantee the loan amount. A sponsor receives 1-2% remuneration for his commitment and support.

Disposal fee

And finally, this fee covers the cost of marketing and selling a property and ensures a smooth transition between ownership of the syndicated and the next party, which is 1% of the sale price.

As you explore syndication, learn the fee structure to see if there are any hidden costs. Understand whether the fees seem reasonable compared to the net returns. If so, then it’s just a business expense.

A sponsor should be well rewarded for doing all the work, but you need to make sure that they really have an incentive to do well for their investors.

So, are you wondering if fee alignment will increase performance, provide an attractive net projected return, and help you meet your financial goals?

Profit sharing

Profit sharing is a primary indicator of how a sponsor rates its investors. No two syndications are alike, so the distribution of profits varies depending on the type of investment, the holding period and the risks involved. There are two types of profit sharing:

The straight split

As the name suggests, this profit sharing is quite simple. This system uses the same split structure throughout for all returns, including cash flow and future profits from the sale of an asset.

For example, suppose a deal uses an 80/20 or 70/30 split; the first number is the portion that passive investors or limited partners receive through cash flow or sales profits. And the second number is what the sponsor or general partners get on that deal.

The preferred rate of return or the waterfall structure

This is a more popular profit-sharing mechanism that offers a preferred annual return of 8-10%. This amount goes exclusively to the passive investors, which creates a significant parity of interests by ensuring that the sponsor works harder to clear this hurdle before making any money on this business.

Once the preferred return is achieved, the split structure can either activate the next preferred return hurdle or move to a straight split of 80/20 or 70/30.

Sometimes they can follow a waterfall structure where the split percentage evolves over time from the initial 80/20 or 70/30 to 50/50 between the investors and the sponsor.

Note that not all syndicators offer preferential returns. Therefore, it is in your best interest to find deals that offer preferential returns as they reduce the risk associated with investing.

Another option for profit sharing can be based on the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), an annualized cumulative rate of return. The math behind this is a bit tricky, which can affect the stock split over time.

As a limited partner, it is important to remember that it is a red flag when a sponsor receives a huge payout regardless of their performance or passes all profits on to the investor without owing to themselves. What you need is a sponsor who has invested in the success of the deal with you.

Final thoughts

When the interests of an investor and a sponsor match, you will build your real estate investment business much faster and smoother. You will be able to work around the common pitfalls and avoid thinking that you are in the real estate business. Because you aren’t, you have a bigger mission to reclaim your time. And real estate investments are just a vehicle to get you there.

We will discuss all this and more in detail in our course – Passive real estate academy. Would you like to confidently learn everything about investing in real estate? You can get your seat directly Here!

Equity and option strategies for volatile markets


Equity and option strategies for volatile markets

For those who are agile enough, volatile markets offer traders plenty of opportunities to make quick profits.

However, if you are not ready to trade a fast-paced market, it can also mean you will be overwhelmed.

In this article, we’ll look at some stock and option strategies for volatile markets that can help traders take advantage of the opportunities while minimizing risk.

General equity and option strategies for volatile markets

When the market is moving fast, it’s easy to lose sight of everything else. Finally, focus on your positions, exits, entries and potential new trades. But don’t forget about the big indices and bigger stocks that can move the market.

How are other indices and larger stocks performing? Should you worry that a bigger stock has gains to come? Is there a FOMC meeting in the next few days? All of these events can add to volatility. Trading around these events can mean that some vulnerable positions will be reduced or closed.

The strategies in this section apply whether you are trading stocks or options. Instead of strategies, they are more like tactics. In other words, you can incorporate them into any strategy.

Smaller positions

Prices move quickly in volatile markets. There are a few ways to compensate for this when adding new positions. But one of the most proven stock and option strategies for volatile markets is to reduce position size.

For example, if you typically trade 100 stocks or 10 options contracts, maybe you should use 75 stocks or 7 contracts. Depending on how fast the markets are moving, you can reduce the size even further.

As a rule of thumb, traders with smaller accounts should never risk more than 1% to 3% of their account on a single trade. And the more volatile the market, the closer to 1% you will likely want to be.

With a $ 10,000 account, sticking to a maximum position size of 1% means you would never risk more than $ 100 on any given trade. Yes, this means that if your position increases by 20%, you will not benefit that much. But it also means that if the trade quickly goes 20% against you, you will lose a lot less.

Broader stop loss

Stop losses don’t work that well with options. This is due to the wide “Bid x Ask Spread” that is present with many options. The same applies to stocks with low liquidity.

But for liquid stocks with smaller bid-x-ask spreads, a wider stop loss may work better. So instead of placing a stop loss of 1.00 point from an entry, for example, you might consider 1.50 or 2.00 points.

Scaling in and out

Scaling into one position offers the potential for a better price. For example, if you buy 100 stocks with a limit of 97 only to see the stock drop to 90 due to volatility, you’ve missed a great entry price.

We cannot know the future. But such movements are common in a volatile market. You can know that. To smooth out rapid price movements, do the following:

  • 50 shares at 97
  • 30 shares at 95
  • 20 shares of 93

You might not get a 90, but your cost base will be less than 97. Also, if the price never hits 95, you can only get 50 shares at 97. This is fine as you were prepared for lower prices, but ended up with a smaller position taking advantage of the first point above.

It also works the other way around. When exiting a position, instead of selling all the stocks at the same price, consider spreading the stocks across multiple prices.

Stock-specific strategies for volatile markets

Charting tools can be of tremendous help in volatile markets. It may appear that a stock fluctuates back and forth randomly. But after examining the charts, you can see patterns as well as support and resistance levels.

Also with Mishaps and outbreaks Informing your trading timing works better with stocks than with options. A breakout usually occurs when the stock price moves up and out of a range. A breakdown moves under and out of an area. Both are preceded by a consolidation or an area-specific period.

In the graph below we see two recent breakouts for Coke (COKE).

Equity and option strategies for volatile markets

Breakouts and mishaps can work better in volatile markets due to the rapid price movements. However, it can still be just as difficult to trade as fake-out is always possible and this is where position sizing can help too.

Option-specific strategies for volatile markets

Single leg trades (buying or selling an option) may allow traders to get in at a price that differs from the current share price. This creates a certain margin of error and allows the price to move more.

As an example, ABC stock is trading at $ 80. A call buyer decides to buy the 85 strike for 0.70. This option must be above $ 80 for the strategy to make money. In a volatile market or a stock with good momentum, either can be beneficial for this type of trading.

With the same stock, another trader sells the 78 strike put for 0.75, believing the stock will also rebound. With the stock staying above 78, the put seller will make money. When the stock rises, the option premium drops from 0.75 to 0.20. The put seller decides to close the trade and receives $ 55 per contract (0.75-0.20).

A multi-legged approach, which consists of two or more options in a single position, offers several ways to take advantage of the volatility in options trading. For example, if a particular stock is moving wildly, an options trader can use a straddle. The straddle will make money as long as the stock moves above or below a certain price range.

On September 10, TSLA was trading at 752. A trader buys the September 24 put and call:

780 call @ $ 8.82
720 Put @ 11.72
total cost: $ 20.09

In this case, the profitability of the trade depends on TSLA moving away from 752 in either direction.

Straddle Option Strategy (1)

If TSLA is 795 on September 16, the trade will be $ 30.10. And if TSLA is 710 on the same day, the trade will be $ 31.40. The main premise of trading is that TSLA is a volatile stock and is likely to move into one of the profitable areas of trading.

Final thoughts

Volatile markets require a lot of focus and a large tool kit (i.e. strategies and tactics). The more strategies you learn with both stocks and options, the better prepared you’ll be to dive in rather than be sidelined.

NaviPlan from InvestCloud | Wealth professional


The WP Readers’ Choice Award as Service Provider of the Year

NaviPlan – now part of InvestCloud – is proud to be selected as the winner of the WP Readers’ Choice Award for Service Provider of the Year as part of the Wealth Professional Awards 2021. The WP Awards continue to be a measure of industry success in Canada and an event our team looks forward to every year. For the Service Provider of the Year Award, the criteria consider not only those with a proven track record of providing superior service and support, but also those who have consistently innovated for the benefit of the industry. “This recognition by the readers of Wealth Professional is a tribute to the entire team,” said Anthony Stich, NaviPlan’s chief operating officer. “For us, the criteria to be selected for this award represent more than just a set of required qualifications and instead reaffirm our mission to enable everyone to understand and influence their financial future. We pride ourselves on creating the tools consultants and businesses need to provide quality advice to their clients to help them navigate the financial complexities of life. ”Our platform is built on the most accurate calculation engine in the financial planning market, enabling businesses to offer their services to every customer. From simple goal-based assessments to advanced cash flow planning analysis, the solution is the financial planning platform of choice for more than 140,000 financial professionals worldwide. Our software is a trusted solution in Canada for five of Canada’s top six life insurance companies and four of Canada’s top five banks and is used to generate millions of financial plans worldwide each year. Thank you to the readers of Wealth Professional who selected us for this award and to all of the fortune.

Company Name: NaviPlan from InvestCloud
E-mail: [email protected] / [email protected]
Phone number: (888) 692-3474
Website: /

How to print digital files from Etsy


If you search Etsy long enough, you will eventually come across a digital download or a print version. You may have avoided purchasing digital files in the past because you are not sure how it works or what you will do after buying it.

Or, like me, you could buy digital files to decorate your home with wall art, DIY party decorations, and invitations, and use them for anything.

Never be afraid!

After reading this article, you will not only understand what a digital download is, but also how to access and print your digital downloads.

Looking for a quick summary? Try to print from Prints of love when you have time to order online because they make it easy to print out digital files and plant a tree after each order. If you want a faster pickup, turn to a chain of stores like Walmart or Cosco, which offer online services and physical pickup.

What is a digital download?

On Etsy, a digital download can also be referred to as a printable or instant download.

As Kodak Digitizing points out, a digital download means you click a link and transfer a file to your computer.

When you buy a digital download, you are not buying a physical product. What you are buying is a file. After purchase, you can use the file as you like and print it out as often as you like.

Digital downloads come in a variety of formats including PDF, JPG, PNG, SVG, EPS, and more. Each type of file depends on what you want to use them for and how you want to print them.

For example, some online printing services like Walmart only accept JPG or PNG downloads. This means that if you plan to use Walmart to print your photos or other digital files, you should look for JPG or PNG files.

What happens after i purchase a digital download?

Once you’ve purchased a digital download on Etsy, you should be able to access the file within minutes. Etsy will add the file to your account in the order section and you can download it on a desktop computer or mobile phone and open in your browser.

Etsy will also send an email to the email address associated with your account if you have an Etsy account. The email contains a link to the file you just purchased.

How do I access my digital downloads?

You can follow the link in your email to go straight to the digital download you have purchased.

Sign in to your Etsy account to find previous digital downloads.

Then go to your account and click on “Purchases and Reviews”. This will take you to a page with all of your previous purchases on Etsy.

Find the digital download that you want to access. Next to this item should be a button that says “Download Files”. You will be directed to the page where you can download the files you need.

If you’re having trouble accessing your digital download, Etsy has a help page to help.

Note: You can access digital downloads from the website on a computer or mobile web browser. You can NOT access the digital downloads through the Etsy mobile app.

This trips a lot of people who cannot find their download.

How do I open my digital downloads?

After you’ve downloaded your digital file, you’ll want to open it.

Etsy currently supports more than a dozen digital file types. Specific software is usually required to open the files. So you should make sure you have the right software for every file. Below is a list of the file types that are currently supported by Etsy. (Source: Etsy) Next to each file type are some of the most commonly used programs that open that file type.

  • .bmp (Microsoft Windows Photos, Apple Preview or Apple Photos, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW)
  • .doc (Microsoft Word)
  • .gif (Microsoft Windows Photos, Apple Preview or Apple Photos, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW)
  • .jpeg (Microsoft Windows Photos, Apple Preview or Apple Photos, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW)
  • .jpg (Microsoft Windows Photos, Apple Preview or Apple Photos, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW)
  • .mobi (Caliber, Stanza, Sumatra PDF, Mobi File Reader, popular eReader)
  • .mov (QuickTime, iTunes)
  • .mp3 (Windows Media Player or iTunes)
  • .mpeg (Windows Media Player, QuickTime)
  • .pdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader, most Internet browsers)
  • .png (Microsoft Windows Photos, Apple Preview or Apple Photos, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW)
  • .psp (Corel PaintShop Pro, Adobe Photoshop, ACD Systems Canvas)
  • .rtf (Microsoft Word, WordPad)
  • .stl (AutoDesk Viewer, Microsoft 3D Viewer, Microsoft Print 3D, ShareCAD)
  • .txt (Windows NotePad, TextEdit on Mac)
  • .zip (Usually any computer can unzip a .zip file.)
  • .ePUB (various e-readers)
  • .iBook (Internet browser or Apple iBooks)

How do I print my digital downloads?

There are several methods to choose from when it comes to printing your digital download.

Print digital downloads at home

Sometimes printing a digital download file is easy. Items like pattern guides or coloring pages usually have a standard letter size, which means they can fit on an 8.5 “by 11” sheet of paper.

You can easily print these items on your home or office printer.

Some of the most common problems when printing a file at home include whether the file is black and white or color and the orientation of the paper. Landscape means that the bottom edge of the paper is longer and the side of the paper is shorter. Portrait means that the side is longer and the bottom edge is shorter.

You also need to understand your printer settings, whether to click “Fit to Page” before printing, and how to print multiple files per page if necessary. (Learn how to print multiple pages per sheet from Adobe Reader).

However, there are drawbacks to printing at home.

“Home color printers are clearly the cheapest option, but they offer the lowest quality,” writes blogger Foxyoxie.

If you’re printing murals or invitations, you may want to use an online printing service such as Walmart, Cosco, Prints of Love, Vistaprint, or go to a local print shop or Kinkos.

We like Prints of Love for their policy of planting trees for printed items.

Print digital download photos

While quality usually doesn’t matter with sample instructions, it does matter with photos. You can buy photo paper and print your photos at home, but you may not like what you get. Instead, turn to higher quality printers for your digital download photos.

If you have a local Walgreens or Costco these are probably your best choices. You can upload your digital image files to the company website and pick up your prints when they are ready. Both Costco and Walgreens can print photos in a variety of sizes, which means you’re not limited to the 8.5 x 11 inch paper your home printer can handle.

When you’re ready to pay for shipping, you can also use Shutterfly or Vista Print for your photo printing. The nice thing about it is that you can print the photo motifs on pillows, reusable bags and mugs.

Print digital download invitations and cards

Invitations and cards are other things that you probably don’t want to leave your home printer to. You are looking for something of higher quality with nicer paper.

In these cases, contact a medium sized printer such as your local FedEx Kinkos or a local office supply store such as Staples.

The advantage of this is that you don’t spend as much money as you would on a professional printer and get a higher quality product than your home printer can produce.

The downside is, you may have to print the files yourself or wait longer for one of the staff to print the files.

Print digital download art

Much like printing photos or invitations, you want to add a professional touch to your digital download artwork. You want more than what your home printer can offer.

Trust me, I tried printing nursery art at home and it didn’t match the file at all. I ended up using Walmart and was a lot happier.

Instead of Shutterfly or Vista Print, Ashley at Frugal suggests Coupon Living Staples.

Fine tuning

Once you’ve printed your digital files, you’ll want to add the finishing touches.

Search for the perfect frame on Etsy or go to your local Michaels shop where you can matt and frame your digital artwork and photos to your specifications.

What else do you need to consider when purchasing a digital download?

Before purchasing a digital download, there are two things to check.

First, that you have the appropriate software to open the digital download. (I’ll go over all of the different file types Etsy allows and what you’ll need to open each file type a little wider in this article, so read on to find out what software you’ll need.)

Second, you need to think about the print size and aspect ratio of the item you are purchasing.

The PosterJack site states, “You need to make sure the file size is the same; Otherwise, you will have to crop the image to get the print size you want. For example, if you want to display your artwork as a 16 “x 16” print with a 1: 1 aspect ratio, purchase a digital download made for a 16 “x 20” print with a 5: 4 “aspect ratio don’t work without tailoring it. “

Before purchasing, make sure the digital download meets your needs.


While purchasing digital files from Etsy may be more of a job, you will likely find that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

Digital files are often cheaper on Etsy than their physical counterparts. Also, when you buy a digital file, you can get it the size you want. With art, you can also choose exactly the frame and mat you want.

In the end, you will end up with an item that is more tailored to your tastes and needs.

Related posts:
Top 10 printable activities for kids at home
6 free flower autumn prints for your wall

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The Best Home Ownership Insurance in Illinois for 2021


If you are an Illinois homeowner, you will typically pay a little less than the national average for your home insurance. Averaging $ 1,481 per year, Illinois home insurance costs about $ 100 less than the national average of $ 1,585.

NerdWallet looked at 10 different insurers in the state to determine the best home insurance in Illinois. The prices in this analysis are estimates based on many factors, so your price may vary.

The best homeowners insurance in Illinois


NerdWallet Rating


NerdWallet Rating


NerdWallet Rating


NerdWallet Rating

* USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.

There are numerous add-ons that you can customize your homeowner policy, but the following are the types of coverage that are generally included as standard:

Pays off to repair or rebuild the structure of your home.

Covers damage to unattached structures such as a shed or fence.

Pays to repair or replace personal items such as furniture or clothing.

Additional living expenses

Pays for hotel stays, restaurant meals, or other expenses if you need to live elsewhere while your home is being repaired.

Covers legal costs and damages if you are responsible for injury to other people or their property.

Covers injuries to guests in your home, regardless of their fault.

Here is a bit more about each company and the extras they offer.


While Chubb is one of the state’s most expensive insurers, its standard policy includes coverage options that others often charge extra for. For example, homeowners who purchase Chubb’s Masterpiece Policy can receive the full amount used to replace damaged or destroyed personal items in lieu of the depreciation of the items.

Country finances

Country Financial offers three different levels of home insurance. The Premier tier includes coverage unique to Country Financial, such as: Country Financial also offers a significant number of add-ons such as: B. for earthquake damage and costs related to identity theft.

District farm

State Farm’s standard “Raised Home Line” coverage may appeal to homeowners for the financial cushion it offers when they need to remodel their home. As long as the home is insured for the amount that State Farm estimates for the replacement, State Farm will provide up to an additional 20% of that amount in the event that costs increase during the rebuilding.


If you’re an active military or veteran, or a family member of one, USAA offers several benefits that are usually extra from other insurers. For example, policyholders in most states are eligible for identity theft and replacement costs for damaged or stolen personal items.

The cheapest home insurance rates in Illinois

NerdWallet looked at every insurer’s rates in all 1,419 Illinois ZIP codes to find the lowest home insurance rates in the state. We found a nationwide average annual premium of $ 1,481, but your rate may vary based on where you live. The difference between the cheapest and most expensive plans in Illinois was over $ 1,000 a year.

Here are the five cheapest rates for home insurance in Illinois:

And here you can see all available tariffs:

Find out more about home insurance in Illinois

Here are a few things to consider when evaluating your options for home insurance in Illinois:

  • You should consider flood insurance. Flood damage is usually not covered by home insurance, so you will likely need a separate one Flood insurance Politics to be covered. Flood insurance can be a good idea – especially if you live in a flood-prone area. FEMAs Flood maps can help you inform you of the flood risk at your address.

  • Tornadoes can be a threat. Illinois tornadoes average more than 50 per year, with most occurring in late spring and early summer. Regular home insurance usually covers damage caused by a tornado, as well as additional living expenses you may have if you are temporarily evicted from your home due to a tornado damage.

  • Their price varies depending on where you live. In general, the further south you live in Illinois, the higher your average annual home insurance premium. To see the average rate where you live, here is the breakdown by county:

These nursing jobs are in demand – no medical training required


Job seekers can instantly find vacancies to accompany retirees in most areas of the country. Medical training is not required, but most applicants will need a driver’s license and personal transportation.

“At the moment there is a crisis for the carers. The demand is so high. We all need them, ”said Elaine Poker-Yount, director of care management for the Visiting Angels franchise in Mesa, Arizona. “It’s not just us. There is a strong demand for all nursing positions. “

Visiting Angels has more than 600 franchises in 50 states employing caregivers to assist seniors with transportation, easy meal preparation, light housekeeping, other daily living, and mostly as friends.

Some Visiting Angels franchises, as well as many other senior care program employers across the country, also hire housekeeping or personal care assistants. They tend to help with additional tasks like brushing your teeth, bathing, and using the toilet.

These care professions are in demand

Home health workers

As a rule, these assistants require a high school diploma or an equivalent degree and must complete formal training and pass an examination. This career often doesn’t require you to have your own means of transportation, while a companion usually requires driving.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, home helpers earned an average annual salary of $ 27,080, or about $ 13 an hour, in 2020. It estimates that the total employment of these caregivers will increase 33% over the next eight years as the baby boomers get older.

BizInsure, a business insurance marketplace, reports that many home nurse training programs last as little as two weeks. Exercise programs cost between $ 200 and $ 1,000. Because there is such a shortage of nursing staff, some employers pay for new hires to get their nursing certificate.

Most community colleges offer training and exam preparation for these nursing professions.

The course and exam are more about caring for people than medical training.


Many job seekers who are not in the mood for bathroom and toilet assistance already have skills that can be used meaningfully as full or part-time companions.

“We’re looking for someone with empathy, not sympathy. Someone who can slip into someone else’s shoes and see the world from their point of view, ”said Poker-Yount. “We’re looking for that piece of respect that they really want to make a difference in someone’s life.”

Pro tip

Search here to see if Visiting Angels has supervisor jobs in your zip code.

Since every Visiting Angels franchise has a different owner, there is no fixed pay scale. Many offer competitive wages two or more dollars an hour above the state minimum wage. Employees with more experience could be rewarded more, said Poker-Yount. Some offer advantages. In most cases you can work full-time as a companion or just a 4-hour shift per week.

State licensing or association requirements for the nursing profession vary, although it is not uncommon for companions to undergo criminal background checks and provide references. Some programs also require CPR training.

Who usually works as a caregiver?

Some nurses are students studying medicine or becoming physiotherapists, but many are caring people with no specific academic or medical training who want to work part-time or full-time.

Poker-Yount does not require applicants to provide prior guidance when working with seniors in a professional setting. She is looking for employees who have cared for a family member for six months or more.

“Someone who cares for a little sister with Down syndrome, looks after someone with intellectual development difficulties, or looks after their spouse is a wonderful companion,” she said. “We have found that family care is the best experience for comprehensive care.”

Poker-Yount is certified to train companions in the care of dementia sufferers.

“Not everyone feels comfortable in a dementia world because they have lived in it or because they have no experience and it puts them off,” she said. “If the caregiver has little or no experience of dementia and has a client (with dementia), they grow with them. You’ll be phenomenal. There are small steps on the way. “

Employers ensure that the caregiver is comfortable with the older adult and that the client and caregiver are a good match and that there is a good working environment.

Katherine Snow Smith is a writer for The Penny Hoarder.

Why virtual consultants are the new normal


Why virtual consultants are the new normal


The wealth management industry will experience tremendous changes over the next decade. Consumers today increasingly use Skype or FaceTime to discuss personal matters and connect with friends and family around the world. Factors such as the development of new customer segments and rapid technological advances are why virtual financial advisors are the new normal.

Large global asset management firms are becoming aware of this. There is an increased focus on virtual advice centers that try to offer a high level of personal support from top-class advisors. This is in stark contrast to more traditional call centers with less personal advice.

What does it mean to be a virtual financial advisor?

A virtual financial advisor is someone who either has very limited or no face-to-face meetings with prospects and clients. Rather, the consultant uses video conferencing platforms and robust financial technology in his meetings with prospects and customers.

This does not necessarily mean that the consultant does not have a physical office. Virtual financial advisors can have their own physical office space or use virtual workspaces such as WeWork.

Less commuting and personal meetings also mean less CO2 emissions and less paper waste. Virtual financial advisors will help you save time, money, and even the environment.

Does working with a virtual financial advisor save you time?

Picture that… It’s 5:30 pm and you’ve just finished work. You and your spouse have a 6pm meeting at your financial advisor’s office, which is 15 miles away. You got stuck in a meeting that lasted 10 minutes.

You are stuck in a traffic jam desperately trying to call your spouse because you are 15 minutes late. The sweat builds up around your collar as you try to navigate traffic to get there on time. Finally, you will find your spouse there patiently waiting in the reception area.

You join her in the lobby, but you don’t really want to be there. All you really want is to be home in comfortable clothes and have some meaningful time with your family.

With a more personalized “Netflix-like” approach, meeting a virtual advisor is a much smoother process. You can share your financial plan and other online portals to better explain financial strategies and concepts to you through virtual conference software. You can also share your screen if you need help logging into your 401k portal or have a question about a financial document. And of course you save time by reducing commuting and traffic jams.

Does virtual work save money?

The fees charged by financial advisors should be commensurate with the services provided. Does your advisor only offer asset management? Or do you work with a comprehensive fee-based financial planner who also offers comprehensive advice on financial planning? For example, a prospective retiree needs advice in addition to investments because retirement planning is complicated. They have other problems that they need solutions to:

  • What Age can i retire?
  • How much can we spend monthly without outlasting our fortunes?
  • What is the best social security strategy?
  • How do unforeseen health events affect our plan?
  • What is the best investment strategy for us?
  • How do we make Lower taxes in retirement?

The level of service and value offered therefore differ between financial advisors. Understanding your greatest needs is important to ensure you are getting the correct answers to your questions. And this is where a virtual financial advisor can really add a lot of value.

Does a Virtual Financial Advisor Offer Better Advice?

As consumers increasingly turn to web search engines for their shopping needs, more options become available. Search engines like Google are constantly trying to improve consumer web search results, and the financial planning profession is no different.

Number of households that would prefer a virtual financial advisor

Gone are the days when you Googled “Financial Advisor Near Me” and selected a company on the first search results page. There are too many options and in most major cities there are hundreds or thousands of financial advisors ready to work with you. This is not an optimal way to find an advisor as you are casting too wide a net.


If you are looking for unbiased advice on solving your specific problems, the 3 most important criteria when choosing a counselor are:

  1. Are they only chargeable? This means that their fees are paid directly by customers and not by third parties with whom a conflict of interest could arise.
  2. Are they experienced and credible? You may be looking for a consultant who is a CFP® because you need more help with financial planning. A minimum level of experience might also be a priority for you.
  3. What is your specialty? If you had back pain, you wouldn’t see an ophthalmologist and the same goes for choosing the right counselor.

From experience I can say that most consumers do not ask the third question, which is just as important as the first two. You want the best advice for your needs, so you need to find a financial partner who is familiar with your financial situation.

The global economy and ever-changing US tax laws make it too difficult for consultants to excel in every single area of ​​financial planning, so most consultants are generalists.

The good news is that virtual financial advisors make it easier than ever to find the ideal financial partner. If you are open to a virtual relationship, your Google search results will give you greater numbers of consultants than SPECIALIZE in solving your problems.

When you cast a wider, more targeted net, not only can you catch more fish, but the fish you really want to catch too!

Is it safe to work with a virtual financial advisor?

Almost every American has an account with a major public finance institution. Whether it’s your bank, your credit card company, or your 401k provider, our sensitive personal information is out there. And when it comes to our finances, security is paramount.

The good news is that most databases containing this type of information have 256-bit encryption. This encryption supports the largest bit size and, based on the current computing power, is practically unbreakable thanks to brute force and thus the strongest encryption standard. Almost all financial technology software includes 256-bit encryption.

Percentage of people who feel comfortable working with a virtual financial advisor, by age

The other aspect of security is one physically Breach of your confidential information. Most virtual financial advisors save their financial documentation in digital format and rarely keep hard copies of your financial documentation around. This greatly reduces the chance of your information falling into the wrong hands.

Whether or not your financial advisor is virtual, you must trade your financial information with care and integrity. One thing you can do is run FINRA background check on the advisor for all red flags. FINRA is a not-for-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the SEC. They work actively with investors, member companies and political decision-makers and provide them with important tools.

How do I find a virtual financial advisor?

If you do a Google search for “Virtual Financial Advisor,” you will likely get more results than you want. We encourage you to add a specialty or expertise that you are looking for in your advisor. Here are some common specialty keywords that you can use to narrow your search:

  • Millennial
  • Generation XY
  • retirement
  • Business planning
  • University planning
  • Tax planning
  • Federal Employee (FERS)
  • Government Employee (PERS)
  • Stock option
  • Property

Don’t forget to add the keywords “CFP, Certified Financial Planner, Fee-only” or other descriptive words. The goal is to further refine your search to create a better list of qualified candidates. If you’re looking for help with retirement planning, your Google search should look something like this …

Certified financial planner + retirement plan + virtual financial advisor

Another way to find an advisor is to trade with financial advisors and nonprofits. Most of these organizations advocate greater transparency and higher standards for financial advisors.

This helps ensure that advisors always act in good faith and that the interests of their clients always come first. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards regulates the prestigious name CFP®. You have a great database find a financial planner. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) also has one great search tool find a consultant by subject area.

Final thoughts on virtual financial advisors

The rapid pace of technological progress means that time is becoming a more and more valuable commodity. The information age has presented consumers with a plethora of options that are both convenient and time-saving. More and more consumers are streaming entertainment from their homes, having restaurants and groceries delivered, and even meeting their doctors virtually.

Investors now have better access to advisors who specialize in providing solutions to their specific needs. If you live in a smaller city, the added value is even greater by working with a virtual financial advisor.

Convenience and time savings are the icing on the cake. The more time you save commuting, waiting in a lobby, and finding a parking space, the more time you’ll have for the things you enjoy doing.

Finally, working with a virtual financial advisor reduces our carbon footprint through less driving and unnecessary paper documents.

This article originally appeared on Satori Wealth Management

DannyMichaelAbout the author
Retirement requires decisions that will affect you for the rest of your life. So, first of all, we help our clients define what a fulfilling, deeply satisfying retirement looks like. Once you have complete clarity about what you want, we use our expertise and over 20 years of experience to help you coordinate your personal and financial decisions. There’s nothing worse than finding after retirement that your planning was incomplete. Let’s work together to ensure you enjoy the comfortable, confident retirement you deserve.

Did you know that XYPN consultants offer virtual services? You can work with clients in any state! Check out Danny’s Find an Advisor Profile.

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