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Does Government Debt Relief Exists

  • Posted on May 4, 2018 at 1:19 am

By Sean A. Kelly

You may have received stimulus checks from the government but now, you are wondering if government debt relief exists. You have probably seen a lot of advertisements claiming that you could apply for a government debt relief to clear your debt problem. However, you may have been misled by these advertisements as there are no such federal grants that you could apply for to help you with your debts. The government may have introduced programs to help low-income families to pay for necessities like rental and utilities but there were no programs to help you pay up your credit card debts.

While there were no federal grants or federal debt relief programs, there are however programs like federal student loan consolidation and FHA Secure loan programs. Those who are struggling to pay back federal student loans may be able to benefit from the student loan consolidation program. It would probably allow you to consolidate your loans into one single loan with a lower interest rate and you only need to pay that one loan each month. This program is only applicable for federal student loans and not for anyone with private student loans.

As for the FHA Secure program, it would allow you to refinance your home mortgage or adjustable rate mortgage. By refinancing, you may be able to change the terms of the loan and also lower your interest rate. This may help you reduce your monthly payments and allow you to keep your home from foreclosure. On top of this, by paying a lower amount each month, you may even free up some money which you could use to pay your other debts, like credit cards.

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Now, if you are seeking credit card debt relief, you probably will not be able to get government help for that. Instead, you may need to seek elsewhere and look at the options available to you. There are personal loans that you could take up to pay down your debts or you could probably seek credit counseling to reduce your credit card debts. With credit counseling, you may be able to look closely at your finances and your counselor could suggest the appropriate solution for you to clear your debts. Next, you can probably try debt consolidation which combines all your debts into one large loan. You will probably need to pay a longer term but your interest rate may be lower and your monthly payments reduced. If that is not what you are looking for, you may also try debt management programs. These type of programs also consolidate your debts and it usually does not charge you interests. You could then pay to the program and it will distribute the money to your creditors. Finally, if you had missed quite a lot of payments and your creditors are at your door, you may consider debt negotiation.

When you opt for debt negotiation, you may seek help from debt companies to deal with your creditors for you. With debt negotiation, you may be able to negotiate with your creditors to reduce your debt payable in order to avoid bankruptcy. Some creditors may be open to this, while some may require that you pay them a lump sum for the reduced debt. Usually, creditors may consider your financial situation and if you are really on the verge of bankruptcy, they may readily negotiate with you to reduce the debt you owed. If negotiation was successful, you may be able to get your debts reduced by up to 60%.

So, do not be fooled into thinking that there are government debt relief programs or grants available to help you out of your credit card debts. You may probably need to look for other ways to settle your debt such as the examples mentioned above.

About the Author: government debt reliefcredit card debt reliefdebt companies


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Two Top Out Of Favor Selections For Investors

  • Posted on April 14, 2018 at 1:20 am

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By Sam Subramanian

Certain industries or groups, at times, get hit hard providing venturesome contrarian investors opportunities to earn outsized profits. Contrary investors with the courage and conviction to get into automotive and retailing shares at the depth of the Great Recession have made it out like a bandit.

Fidelity Select Automotive Fund (FSAVX) and SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSE:XRT) are up 305% and 189%, respectively from their 2009 lows, while selected stocks in these groups like Ford (NYSE:F) and Saks (NYSE:SKS) are up 699% and 449%, respectively.

In this first part of this two-part article, I present two contrarian investment ideas in the current market.

Medical Device Stocks Top Medical Device Stock: Medtronic (NYSE:MDT)

Medical device stocks are among the weaker performers this year. iShares Dow Jones US Medical Devices ETF (NYSE:IHI) and Fidelity Select Medical Equip & Systems Fund (FSMEX) are both down 3% and 5%, respectively.

Business conditions for medical device makers have not been robust. High unemployment and rising insurance costs have caused patients to cut down on doctor’s visits. Leading medical device companies Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and Stryker (NYSE:SYK) are reporting a slowdown in sales. Product safety-related recalls have weighed on shares of Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX). Price competition in the medical device business has heightened at a time when hospitals are implementing cost-reduction strategies.

If you believe patients cannot postpone the usage of medical devices forever and will return to the doctor, you can find plenty of opportunities in this space. Among the opportunities,

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industry heavyweight Medtronic trading at nearly 9-times next year’s earnings and yielding just under 3% stands out in my view


Historically, Medtronic has been adept at coming up with market-dominating products that have enabled the company to maintain profit margins in excess of 20%.

With $16 billion in annual revenue and $2.6 billion in free cash flow, Medtronic has the means to execute its strategy and grow its businesses by investing in research, developing new products, and making targeted acquisitions.

Natural Gas Stocks Top Natural Gas Stock: iPath DJ-UBS Natural Gas ETN (NYSE:GAZ)

Combination of slack industrial demand and rising production from shale formations has caused a glut in domestic natural gas supplies. The U. S. Energy Information Administration recently reported total natural gas storage of 3.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), nearly 6% above the 5-year average. The administration forecasts U. S. natural gas inventories to climb to over 3.7 Tcf approaching November 2009’s record of 3.84 Tcf.

The price of natural gas is down about 35% this year. Shares of natural gas producers have declined to a lesser degree. Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK), Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), and EnCana (NYSE:ECA) are down between 11% and 17% each. Natural gas ETFs and mutual funds like First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas (NYSE:FCG) and Fidelity Select Natural Gas (FSNGX) are both down about 10%.

At current prices, natural gas is undervalued vis–vis coal. Given natural gas’s advantage of being a cleaner fuel than coal, electric utilities should feel compelled at some point to switch from coal- to natural gas-fired power plants.

If you believe the natural gas glut will prove temporary and that natural gas cannot remain this low forever, you are in good company. The oil titan Exxon Mobil (XOM) has made a massive wager on natural gas by buying XTO Energy for $41 billion. And, if natural gas does become the fuel of the future as Exxon thinks it will the price of natural gas may well exceed its 2005 record high earning you a 300% return.

With natural gas stocks not down nearly as much as natural gas,

I believe the best natural gas play is the commodity itself

. Easy ways to play the commodity is through ETNs like

iPath DJ-UBS Natural Gas ETN (NYSE:GAZ)


United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSE:UNG)


Before You join Contrarian Investors …

As attractive as medical device and natural gas investments are, they can go down further in the near-term. For one, some investors holding these shares through the decline may choose to recognize losses before year-end to minimize their capital gains taxes.


maximize your return

, you need to make sure that these groups have indeed bottomed and then get in on the action in a timely manner.

About the Author: Sam Subramanian PhD, MBA edits AlphaProfit MoneyMatters. He blogs on topics including

Contrarian Investors: Best Stock Investment


How to Invest in the Stock Market

, and

MINDX Matthews India Fund



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