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Offshore Drilling May Start to Expand

The United States Government, under the Trump administration, may be making a push to increase the amount of offshore oil drilling that is undertaken in the country, though there are many private and public interests that appear to be fighting this push by the administration.

 

Trump is indicating that the offshore drilling industry will help to unleash great wealth for the country and an rapid expansion of the economy and jobs. He wants to unleash the potential that offshore drilling will provide just as many countries have including Norway, Scotland, and a host of middle eastern countries.

 

Much of the countries coastline is controlled by liberal states that did not vote for or support the Trump campaign and takes a sharper view of the potential ecological damage that can be the result of offshore oil drilling and any potential spells. The west coast of the United States including California, Washington State, and Oregon are all liberal democratic states that support climate change initiatives and renewable energy. As such, they are likely to contest and fight against any offshore drilling campaigns.

 

The oil industry seems to support the offshore drilling initiative that the Trump administration announced as their energy initiative. However, offshore drilling has traditionally been a more expensive way of extracting oil than on land operations. The usage of the shale oil and the new processes used to extract it more efficiently than in the past have contributed to an oversupply of oil which has lowered prices. In addition, more efficient usage of oil with greater gas mileage and usage of alternative energy in cars and homes, have lowered the demand for oil. In the past few years these trends have led to a glut of oil which has depressed oil prices. Currently oil prices stand at $50 a barrel which may lead to offshore oil drilling not be an cost effective way of extracting oil from the sea.

 

There is a significant lead time from the start of the legalization of offshore oil drilling to it is available for sale. Prices of oil can fluctuate significantly during this lead time and make it more economical to do so.

 

Even if Trump legalizes the offshore drilling, local Californian politicians can block the creation of oil pipes and limit the cost effectiveness of the plan.

 

GDP Figures Largely a Disappointment

A report released today showed that the United States gross domestic product (GDP) a common metric for assessing economic growth, did not increase as much as expected in the first quarter, eliminating hopes of a Trump bump to the number.

 

In the first quarter of 2017 the GDP increased by only 0.7%. This was a decrease from the 2.1% increase in the fourth quarter of 2016. The information is released by the Commerce Department and ignores the seasonal fluctuations from quarterly activity but provides for a quality assessment of economic activity. However it goes further than this as the first quarter 2017 GDP figures was the worst GDP figures in three years.

 

Personal consumption also did not increase significantly in Q1 with growth only being shown in an uptick of 0.3% compared to the 3.5% that was in place in Q4 2016. This shows that individual spending decreased from earlier upticks, but this is better compared to Q1 of 2016 when there was a 2% uptick.

 

Financial professionals are recommending that individuals and businesses not panic as a result of the limited growth shown in the first quarter. This may not be the sign of a long-term trend but rather a reversal due to what was a big economic pickup in the end of 2016. Many have indicated that the seasonally weather was an impact as well. Typically in Q1 there is spending on natural gas and heating costs, but the weather was atypically warm in Q1 2017. Spending on these costs were down as a result.

 

There are signs of other economic growth including wage growth, business spending, and the potential for lower corporate taxes and infrastructure spending as a result of the predicted economic policies of the Trump administration. While greater business and consumer growing may not be contributing to growth in the GDP, it is likely to help to prevent a slide into a recession. Weaker numbers may result in greater tax cuts in coming months as well.

 

The Commerce department will typically revise the GDP estimates at least twice in the next quarter as economic data becomes clearer. However, the initial response to this economic activity is a bit of disappointment for market observers who were expecting a greater uptick in economic activity.

 

 

Saving Money for the Rainy Days

There are a ton of people that are in search of ways to save money. There are so many people that actually have great salaries that still believe that it is difficult to save.

 

The reality is that most of these people simply don’t put forth any real effort to save money. There are an abundant amount of ways where people can transform their lives and their retirement accounts by simply cutting out some of the things that they do on a regular basis. The problem with many people that are trying to save is their instant gratification need. So many people will feel that they need to get what they want when they want it. They don’t know how to wait for a sale or simply live a life that is based on needs and needs alone. It is true that one can treat themselves at certain times to things that they desire, but this should not be a regular thing. So many people will engage in treating themselves on a regular basis and this causes problems.

 

One thing that has been mentioned in many books is the latte factor. It is called the latte factor, but it can refer to coffee or any other beverage that is expensive. Many people get fixed on this type of coffee from a premium coffee shop on a daily basis. They burn through so much money trying to drink a single cup of coffee. Some people even get more than that. People cannot assume that they don’t have enough because they are not spending wisely. There other people that have premium cable packages that don’t really need these type of services. This is also something that can drown consumers in debt if they have other bills that should be a greater priority. Cutting back on entertainment cost can allow people to save more money.

 

Consumers looking for a way to maximize their return on investment must first start with saving money. They can do this by getting an extra job or taking away some of the abundant perks that they have granted themselves simply because they can afford certain items. It is strange when people say that they cannot save any money in the midst of overspending.

 

Save Hard, Invest Wisely and Retire Early

There is a couple that is going to retire before they reach the age of 50. This sounds like an impossible thing to do, but it is definitely a possibility. It is just all about putting your mind to it.

 

Saving money it’s something that a lot of people simply don’t like to do. It is not that cannot do it. It is just that they don’t find any fun in doing it. This couple that is planning to retire in their forties is realizing that sacrifices have to be made and everything isn’t going to be fun.

 

The biggest concept is learning to save, but this is not the only part of the equation. Once people learn how to save money they will then have to make a conscious decision on how they can invest the money. It does no good to save if there’s not going to be a way to invest and maximize the return on investment. That is one of the most important things that people have to realize.

 

With this it comes down to taking the time to analyze stocks and find out what is worth your time. And investor that is trying to maximize returns and save towards retirement will need to diversify. This is going to be the first step towards creating a lucrative portfolio for your retirement. Anyone that puts their all of their money into one company is really going to find themselves disappointed. It can be heartbreaking to lose a ton of money with the company that was on the cutting edge of technology just a couple years ago.

 

Technology changes all the time, and the companies that cannot keep up with innovation are the ones that will get lost in the shuffle. Some of these companies even fold. That is why it never pays to put all of your money into one company. That is a principle of saving and investing that people have to learn early when they start their portfolio.

 

Anyone that is planning save money is going to need to look at the things that they can cut back on. Sometimes another job may be required in order to put more money aside for your future retirement that you are anticipating.

 

Trump Announces Tax Plan

Donald Trump has announced some details of his tax plan and many people are criticizing it as something that will significantly benefit the richest Americans at the expense of the poorer.

 

While the tax plan was announced, it is short on details in many ways. The headline changes are striking in the impact that they will have in reducing the taxes for corporations and the wealthy however. For corporations the income tax rate will be reduced from 35% to 15% and will potentially attract more companies to be incorporated in the United States and prevent the foreign migration of companies away from the country.

 

The wealthy will benefit from a contraction of the tax rates with the highest rate being reduced from a top rate of just over 39% to 35%, and some additional compaction of the other rates. An initiative of the Obamacare plan, an tax of just under 4% on investment income for those who earn over $200,000 will also be repealed as part of the Trump tax plan. Finally, capital gains taxes will be changed to a total rate of 15% for short and long-term transactions alike and provide further tax savings for the country’s richest individuals. The alternative minimum tax will also be done away with as part of the Trump tax plan.

 

On the individual tax front for the other 99%, the standard deduction will be doubled and individuals will not pay taxes on their first $24,000 of income. To offset this will be an elimination of many of the itemized deductions that people currently enjoy including tax reductions for state and property taxes paid as well as for medical expenses. The only itemized deductions that will remain are the interest deduction for owning a home and the deduction for charitable contributions which will remain.

 

There is no way to fully understand the tax impact on middle class and poorer families, though the wealthy will have a large tax break. The increase in the standard deduction appears like it will help many people, but will reduce the deductions for larger families with more dependents. Further, the loss of itemized deductions will increase taxes for many. Finally, details on where the cutoff point for each income level will be are unknown at this point and will significantly impact the tax outcome for individuals.

 

Making the Extra Money With a Lot of Hassle

There are lot of creative ways for people to make extra money. There are people that are going to be able to earn more because they have a plan in place to earn more.

 

People that struggle with money are the ones that do not take the time to plan. It can be easy to earn extra income in a short time span if people put their mind to it. There are a lot of freelance writers that submit jobs online all the time and make money from the comfort of home. They don’t have to go out in search of a job at a retail clothing store or get locked into a schedule. Writers can start up their own blogs or submit freelance articles and get paid for it on their own terms.

 

Other people that may be looking for a way to make money can do so online by getting crafty and selling their own art. There are lots websites that allow people to sell different things they have made. This is possible through eBay or Amazon, but it has become much more popular on sites like Esty. There are a lot of people that create original paintings and they sell copies of these paintings through the Esty shop. Screen print is something that a lot of people have started to do, and it is easy to turn it into a full-time income if there’s enough dedication for it.

 

Another popular that has allowed many people to earn money is the Uber services. A large number of people sign up to be drivers and this gives them the ability to make money that they have access to instantly. Anyone is looking for a way to make money part-time without doing a lot of hard work will find that this is an easy job to take on.

 

You are a good number of people that are going to embrace this concept because he gives them access to a whole other world of meeting other people and even building network connections for more opportunities as they drive people from one place to another.There are wide range of jobs available,and money can be made in so many different areas. People just have to access their skills.

 

Finding the Right Opportunity to making more money

To make more money you must first know where to look. There are a lot of people that are in need of a way to make more money, but they simply have not been aware of the possibilities that were available. Fortunately, there are tons of articles all over the world that have give people access to a variety of options.

 

There are articles that have been featured in the Oprah Magazine that tell people about some easy side gigs that make it possible for people to earn as much as $500 extra every month doing tasks they never would have assumed that they could have gotten paid for.

 

People take their vehicles to the road to become drivers. There are several sites that allow people to sign up as drivers to pick up people around the city. This can be a very lucrative job, and the great thing about this is that there is no two week period of having to wait for the money. People that sign up for sites like Uber can actually get their money in the same day.

 

The great thing about making extra money is that this is something that can get you over the hump or get you out of debt. So many people find themselves in a position where they are living paycheck-to-paycheck. When an emergency happens they will find themselves in even more debt because they have not set money aside for these type of situations. People get sick and cars break down. These are two of the most common things that the average person is not prepared. It is easier to get a side job that can prepare you for this type of situation before it happens.

 

There are some people that set out to sell their art that they have developed through websites. Others have found money in freelance writing or doing various tasks for other people. A person that is handy as a plethora of jobs available for them. The same goes for anyone that is willing to clean a home. All of these things that people do from time to time can definitely make life easier. Once you extra money you can use this for investing, and this generates even more money.

 

 

The Real Keys to Saving Money

There are a ton of people that are looking for the best ways to save money. It really all starts with gaining a better perspective on what you are actually spending money on. Forbes contributor Maya Levine believes that people could save as much as $5,000 more a year if they would just follow a couple of simple tips.

 

 

One of the clear cut tips that Maya recommends for people that are trying to save is to consider setting up a automated savings that will put money directly in the savings account. This is the well-known principle of paying yourself first. Lots of people that are doing this will find that it becomes easier because they are not tempted to spend the money.

 

In many ways this can be helpful because it sets up the concept of paying yourself just like paying someone else. You don’t give yourself the option of not saving. You simply put the money inside an automated savings account and you forget about it or you find other ways to cut back in order to allocate money for this.

 

This money can also be put forth into something like an IRA account in order to build a portfolio. People that are saving money should make it a priority to invest and maximize their returns.

 

Another thing that Maya recommends for people that are trying to save money is to cut out their day-to-day expenses. So many people walk through life spending a ton of money on things like coffee and fast food without considering the cost.

 

It is not always going to be possible for someone to spend money on coffee at Starbucks or you go out to eat every other day of the week. Sometimes it is going to be more economical to make the coffee at home and bring the lunch to work.

 

Many people think that the problem is that they do not make enough. So many people will find themselves in debt and in over their head because they simply don’t consider cutting back on anything. It can be a terrible ride for anyone that has not prepared for their retirement years. So many people will stumble through life working longer because they do not save now.

 

Wells Fargo Bank Agrees to Pay $3.6 Million in Penalties to Settle Claims by CFPB

Wells Fargo Bank, one of the largest U.S. private student loan lenders was accused by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) of illegal loan servicing practices. The company claimed in a New York Times news article on August 27th, 2018 that they were aware of the issues and had started to correct the problem before CFPB began their examination. The examination was a result of thousands of borrowers’ claims accusing the banking institution of providing misinformation concerning payment options. Borrowers also claimed Wells Fargo Bank allocated their payments to maximize late fees.

 

 

If they had more than one loan, the loans weren’t consolidated, but remained as separate loans. Wells Fargo would split their payments without allowing borrowers to specify how they wanted to allocate their payments. The consent order stated after a thorough examination that Wells Fargo failed to inform customers of their right to allocate payments. The order also stated the student loan servicing institution made it very difficult for borrowers to control costs. CFPB found Wells Fargo Bank used illegal loan servicing practices which cost borrowers higher costs and fees.

 

 

Americans owe trillions of dollars in student loan debts. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is doing everything possible to ensure loan servicing institutions, whether private or federal practice fairly with all borrowers. CFPB regulator, Seth Fortman said he noted in a mid-2016 report that borrowers complained often about federal loan servicers. They were accused of making it difficulty for them to enroll in special programs that lower their federal loan payments. Monthly payments are normally based on the borrower’s net earnings and monthly household expenses, including food, housing and etc.

 

 

According to New York Times, Wells Fargo didn’t deny nor admit to the findings of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Wells Fargo was also ordered to pay some borrowers $410,000 after finding the bank charged them higher costs and fees for serving their student loans. When consumers file complaints involving private and federal student loan servicers, CFPB has authority to investigate and examine their claims. Wells Fargo didn’t defend their actions, but stated they had already started the process of correcting their student loan servicing practices.

 

 

National Mobile Processing Payments Expected to Reach $170 Billion in the Near Future

Mobile payment processing technology is transforming the financial world with its advantages of convenience for U.S. consumers and small businesses. In 2014, more than $5 billion in payments were processed using digital phones in the United States, according to Business Insider. The number of Americans using their smartphones to process payment transactions is also predicted to increase enormously, reaching more than $170 billion in mobile payments processing, in three years. Since 2014, small businesses are taking advantage of recent development of payment processing technology, Mobile Point of Sale.

 

 

Companies, such as ShopKeep are benefitting of the increased demand for commercial payment technology. Their Mobile Point of Sale payment app accepts consumers’ payments using smartphones and tablets. The payment technology is compatible with new applications to manage inventory, process payroll and market.

 

 

The transformation of mobile payment technology started with Apple Pay and eventually Google, Chase, Android and Walmart developed their payment apps. New developments in payment technology will reduce the number of consumers using cash and credit cards. Access to cash and credit cards is quickly available using smartphones and tablets to make purchases and to pay bills online. Payment processing vendors are planning for the transformation, as cyber shoppers and online stores’ demand increase yearly.

 

 

Mobile technology has transformed greatly over the years, beginning with built-in camera, calculator, and clock with alarm feature. Smartphones added other built-in apps, including built-in camcorder, GPS, movie play, and television. New mobile technology will ultimately change the way consumers traditionally process payments. In the 1990’s consumers had to literally write a check or use cash for bill pay to creditors and merchants. Today, millions of U.S. consumers are using digital phones, tablets, laptops and PCs to process bill payments.

 

 

Consumers, small businesses and corporations are going digital for financial transactions, including payment processing, receiving payments and online banking. Analysis of the payment technology industry indicates an increase in mobile payment processing technology sales to small businesses and an increase of Americans using smartphones for most payment processing, in the near future. Entrepreneurs are using tablets and phones for running their online businesses, including tracking inventory, processing payments to vendors, and receiving payments from customers. By 2019, consumers and small businesses are expected to contribute to the increase in mobile payments processing.