CAI trims cotton crop estimate for 2018-19 to 340 lakh bales

The Cotton Association of India on December 7 lowered its November estimate of the cotton crop by three lakh bales to 340.25 lakh bales for the 2018-19 season.

The decline in cotton crop estimate is mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions, CAI said in a statement.

Last month, the association had estimated cotton output at 343.25 lakh bales for the 2018-19 season, which began on October 1.

CAI reduced the crop estimate for Gujarat by three lakh bales, Maharashtra by one lakh bales and Telangana by 1.50 lakh bales.

However, it increased the crop estimate for Haryana by one lakh bales and upper Rajasthan, lower Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh by 50,000 bales each.

The association has projected total cotton supply during October and November at 95 lakh bales, which consists of the arrival of 70 lakh bales up to November 30, imports of two lakh bales and the opening stock at the beginning of the season as on October 1, that the CAI has estimated at 23 lakh bales.

Further, the association has estimated cotton consumption during October and November at 54 lakh bales, while the export shipment of cotton up to November 30, at 10 lakh bales.

The stock at the end of November 2018 is estimated at 31 lakh bales, including 27 lakh bales with textile mills and the remaining four lakh bales estimated to be held by Cotton Corporation Of India (CCI) and others (MNCs, traders, ginners among others).

The total cotton supply till end of the season is estimated at 390.25 lakh bales of 170 kg each, which includes opening stock of 23 lakh bales at the beginning of the season, cotton crop for the season at 340.25 lakh bales and imports of 27 lakh bales, which are estimated to be higher by 12 lakh bales, compared with the import figure of 15 lakh bales estimated for the 2017-18 crop year.

The CAI has estimated domestic consumption for the season at 324 lakh bales, while the exports at 53 lakh bales, which is lower by 16 lakh bales against the exports of 69 lakh bales estimated during last year.

The carry-over stock at the end of the 2018-19 season is estimated at 13.25 lakh bales.

[“source=moneycontrol].

Cramer’s lightning round: Barnes & Noble’s stock is trading like it could get acquired

Image result for Cramer's lightning round: Barnes & Noble's stock is trading like it could get acquiredBarnes & Noble: “I’m going to say something I typically wouldn’t say, but it does feel like it’s getting a bid or something, because it just goes up, up and up and yet the fundamentals are not great. So, I don’t want to recommend a stock on a takeover basis, but I see what’s happening and it seems pretty positive.”

Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp.: “It’s not a bad stock. A lot of people don’t talk about it. I think it’s pretty good. Now, candidly, I like Accenture more. I like ACN, really, a lot more.”

TE Connectivity Ltd.: “It’s interesting. It’s not great. It does network solutions, got a little cable stuff in it. It’s not compelling enough for me to pound the table.”

Adobe Inc.: “I cannot recommend this stock on a short-term basis because … I recommended it at $50. It’s at $250. I think you buy some and then you wait for it to come down because we’re not going to play the quarterly game. The quarter’s going to be good, but stocks aren’t reacting to the quarter. They’re reacting to the Fed. They’re reacting to the president. That’s not certain enough for me.”

Global Blood Therapeutics Inc.: “It’s had a very big run and it’s coming back down. I think you sold half and now portfolio management would say, ‘You know what? Let the rest run.'”

Activision Blizzard Inc.: “It has to do with Call of Duty. People think it’s not doing that well. I wish [CEO] Bobby Kotick would come on.”

[“source=gsmarena”]

Financial literacy is more than being able to make investment decisions

Last week one AMC approached me to conduct an Investor awareness session for some corporate employees. I love conducting such sessions so there was no point saying no to them. But before every session, I wanted to make sure the exact number of attendees and their work profile, so I requested the mutual fund house to put me in touch with the HR person who will be arranging the complete show.

I called up the HR Guy, and he told me that the participants would be of Senior manager profile with high-income scale and specifically said that almost all are “Financially Literate” persons, so the presentation should be of quality and useful to them.

There was not much I could do on the presentation part as it was a standard one and specifically oriented towards Investments Especially Mutual funds, but I was excited to interact with the Participants, with the kind of profile I was told by the HR person.

It was a small group of around 15 people. All of them were looking quite mature around 45+ kind of age group.

Before I start the session, once again one of them told me that they are “Financially Literate people” and have attended this kind of presentation many times before. So, I should tell something which was not new to them.

This time I told them that when they know themselves so well and even their understanding level is so high, so rather than doing any session lets answer their questions and doubts. All of them agreed.

As expected the set of questions that came out was, what are the other options to save tax besides Section 80C savings? What mutual funds and other Investment options can help them generate maximum returns? They were looking for specific product advise.

Starting with tax savings first, I enquired where they were investing currently to save taxes. To which the common reply came was through a home loan.

Every member of the group was having a home loan, some of them were having two loans. To them it was investment and tax saving both.

I Further asked how many of them feel that their Job is secure and the Income will keep growing like it was in the past. None of them showed their hands this time.

My next question to them was what plans do they have in their mind and arrangements in their finances, to take care of home loan EMIs and family expenses, in case something happens to their Job. What is the Liquidity situation in their Investments profile? How much of emergency fund they have saved? Do they have Independent health insurance cover?

All of them went quiet, but one person got up and said, after all, expenses, and EMI’s there was hardly left for them to save.

Sensing the anxiety in others’ silence, I started explaining them what exactly I wanted to convey.

Friends, financial Literacy does not mean to gain knowledge relating to investments only. Financial literacy is the possession of the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.

You have to understand the role of money in your life and impact of each financial decisions on other important aspects of your personal finance.

When you are not sure on your tomorrow’s income, how can you bet on long term housing loans and ensure the regular commitment of EMI payments. Tax saving is one thing but that does not call for getting into a long-term liability.

Investments should not only be looked at from returns perspective only. You need to have a proper understanding of the structure of the product and investment asset class forming the base of that product.

You have to think on all kind of “What if” scenarios and need to have answers to all of them.

When you search for high returns without understanding of your requirements and not having hold onto your cash flows, then you are exposing yourself to misselling or may be mis buying.

And I am sure these real estate investments are the result of the same. When you had bought it at the first place, you must have been pitched with high returns in this asset class, assured rental incomes, plus tax benefits on home loan. All this in combination must have looked like a mouth-watering deal to you.

And now in today’s scenario, when real estate is into a slowdown, with reduction in the tax benefits by government and increasing in family’s expenses with children going into higher classes, you have started feeling the pinch and now finding solutions in “high returns” of equity.

Friends, you should think about long term only after ensuring the short term and emergency requirements.  There is difference in making and continuing Investments. Growth in investments should be looked at along with the liquidity and safety concerns, not just tax saving.

Even if equity markets are going well these days, there’s no surety of it continue giving the same returns always. Long term equity returns are better than other investment asset classes but only if you stay invested for that long-time frame.

And all this requires understanding of your cash flow positions, your responsibilities, your goals, your risk tolerance, your taxation profile and not just your returns expectation.

Knowing all these things and the decisions you make for the betterment of life and achievement of goals will decide the wellness in your life. But when you limit your understanding to only investments than you are not doing justice to the financial Literacy levels.

So at the end, I would like to say, stop searching for best products and never invest in anything just from tax saving perspective, but strive for a good life with better suited products and keep learning to be a wise investor.

[“Source-moneycontrol”]a

Top Personal Finance Tips You Should Make A Priority On Your Work Anniversary

Clint Haynes

I am a Certified Financial Planner® and founder of NextGen Wealth. We help our client’s on their journey to financial freedom.

Shutterstock

Congratulations, you’ve made it another year. Another one in the books and just that much closer to retirement. While taking a deep sigh, reflect on what you accomplished the last 12 months at your job. Did you get a promotion? Did you get a raise? Did you get a new boss?

Whatever happened, I hope it was a great year and you made some positive strides in your professional life. This anniversary serves as a great reminder for some personal financial to-dos. Let’s take a look at my best personal finance tips that you can accomplish on your work anniversary.

Review Your 401(k)

Take a look at how your 401(k) has performed over the last 12 months. Is it what you expected? Was the return commensurate with the risk? Did it perform in a manner that will get you closer to retirement? Once you’ve answered these questions, it might be time to reassess how your 401(k) is invested. If you’re invested in a good target date fund (not all are created equal) based on the date of your retirement, you may not need to do anything at all.

Target date funds are automatically rebalanced for you. However, if something has changed with your retirement picture, then you may need to change your target date fund to another year. If you’re invested in individual funds, you’ll want to examine the performance of each of those, as well as all individual funds in your 401(k), and make the appropriate fund changes and allocation updates. Regardless, if you are in individual funds, you will want to rebalance your portfolio. This could mean going back to the allocation you set 12 months ago. Or it could mean going to a slightly more conservative allocation since you’re one year closer to retirement.

What To Do With A Salary Increase

Did you get a salary increase recently or sometime over the last year? What did you do with that money? Hopefully, you set some aside and it didn’t all go to spending.

My rule of thumb when it comes to salary increases is to put at least 50% of it toward savings and take the remainder home with you. This still means your take-home pay will increase.

As for where the savings should go, the easiest place is your 401(k) if you’re not currently maxing it out. If you already contribute the maximum, then maybe it should go toward an IRA (Backdoor Roth IRA), your children’s college savings or an additional savings account earmarked for a financial goal like a big trip, second home, new car, etc.

If you are saving this money for one of those latter goals, then I would highly recommend automating it. This means that once that money hits your checking account, it is automatically transferred out to the appropriate account the next day. Remember, pay yourself first.

Live By The Rule Of Thirds

Since we’re talking about saving, now is a good time to bring up the rule of thirds. If you’re not familiar, it’s a plan for having a third of your paycheck go to taxes, a third to savings and a third to living. It’s a simple but very effective strategy. If you don’t have to save a third for taxes because you’re in a lower tax bracket, that just means more can go to savings and living.

If you’re able to save a third of your salary, then I can almost guarantee you’re going to be way ahead of all your friends — and that much closer to financial freedom and retirement. Granted, saving a third might seem like a daunting task if you’ve never done it before. If that’s the case, then start slowly and work your way up. If you’re at 15%, then bump it up to 20% this year and put the majority — if not all — of your salary increases and raises towards savings. You will be there before you know it.

Review Your Stock Options/Restricted Stock Units

Your work anniversary serves as a great reminder to review how your stock options and/or restricted stock units are performing. This also means reviewing how many are now vested and what the tax consequences of liquidation look like. I would recommend working with a CPA or Certified Financial Planner® if you’re not well-versed in this area.

Stock options and restricted stock units can pose some tricky tax situations, so you want to ensure that you’re making the right decision so that you don’t get hit with a tax bill you weren’t expecting.

Negotiate A Raise

Don’t think it’s possible to negotiate a raise with your boss? Think again. It’s the 21st century, and things have become much more fluid and open to negotiation in the workforce. Employers want to maintain their top-tier talent. If that’s you, then they want to make sure they’re keeping you happy.

With that being the case, I’m not talking about your annual review. I’m talking about a conversation outside of your annual review. If you’re not a stellar employee and you’re not able to make your case, then there’s no sense in having the conversation. If, on the other hand, you can prove your worth by what you’ve accomplished over the last year and how you’re consistently getting contacted by other employers and recruiters, then you can make a much better case for a salary increase. It’s much easier for your employer to pay you more than to find a replacement if you’ve made yourself irreplaceable.

You would be surprised at how much more apt they are to having the conversation if you fit the mold of irreplaceable. If you’re not quite there yet, then make it your goal over the next 12 months to become viewed that way. I can assure you it’s worth it.

So, there you have it: The five must-dos for this work anniversary and every one after. Put a reminder on your calendar so you’re ready for next year.

[“Source-forbes”]

Weekend catchup — this week’s personal finance headlines

The Arnie effect swells PPI payouts

Refunds for mis-sold PPI in the UK have hit nearly £30bn since 2011, the country’s financial watchdog said, with a pick up in the later months of last year reflecting an ad campaign fronted by a motorised model of the head of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Claimants received just under £367m in December, the Financial Conduct Authority said, from £398m in November and £325m in October. The total tally now stands at £29.6bn.

Last August, the FCA launched a £42m ad campaign featuring Arnie that urged Brits to “make a decision” on seeking compensation and “do it now”. The deadline for compensation applications is August next year. More than a million people visited the FCA’s website for PPI in the first month of the campaign.

Read more on FT.com

Help to Buy homeowners prepare for double whammy

© Bloomberg

Thousands of homeowners with Help to Buy loans will face a squeeze on their finances as the first fees fall due to the government next month, experts have warned, writes Aime Williams.

Under its flagship Help to Buy equity loan scheme, the government offered borrowers an equity loan of up to 20 per cent of the value of a newly built home, or 40 per cent in London.

Although the loans are interest-free for five years, after that borrowers must begin to pay a fee of 1.75 per cent of the value of their loan, increasing each year by RPI plus 1 per cent.

The Resolution Foundation, a think-tank, said the fees presented “a ticking time bomb” for families who held Help to Buy loans.

Read more on FT.com

UK services grow at fastest rate in four months in February

Stronger global growth has driven demand for UK business services © AFP

Activity in Britain’s services sector grew at its fastest rate for four months in February as stronger global growth drove demand for business services, writes Gavin Jackson.

In the sector’s latest survey of purchasing managers, companies also reported the biggest jump in new orders since May 2017 over the month, driven by new business-to-business work.

But businesses cautioned that stretched household budgets kept domestic consumer spending weak, with average UK wages failing to keep pace with rising prices last year.

Overall the IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index for services rose to 54.5 in February from 53.0 in January. Anything above 50 indicates an expansion. Analysts had expected only a modest increase to 53.3.

Read more on FT.com

UK house price growth chills to five-year low — Halifax

UK house prices are rising at the slowest rate since 2013, according to data released on Wednesday that underscore the bite from falling consumer purchasing power and uncertainty over Brexit, writes Adam Samson.

Prices rose 1.8 per cent in the three months to February compared with the same period a year earlier, according Halifax, the mortgage lender. The pace was below the 2.2 per cent recorded in the three months to January but above the 1.6 per cent forecast by economists in a FactSet poll.

The slowdown highlights how the “the fundamentals for housebuyers are likely to remain challenging,” according to Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at the EY Item Club. He added:

Consumers have faced an extended squeeze on purchasing power, and it is likely to ease only gradually as the year progresses. Additionally, housing market activity is likely to be hampered by fragile consumer confidence and limited willingness to engage in major transactions.

[“Source-ft”]

The No-Fear Guide To Getting Your First Credit Card

As countless headlines will tell you, my generation is waiting longer to get credit. The debt collection industry is on our hit list of beloved Boomer relics to kill, right behind Applebee’s, sex and the Toyota Scion.

This was never the case with me. I opened a credit card at 25, after years of pining for that rite of passage, the way late bloomers yearn to hit puberty.

I know people whose parents opened credit cards in their names while they were still in middle school; their credit grew for years — gradually, safely, without their knowledge. What fun! I imagine they all hang out together now, in whatever exclusive club bounces patrons with credit scores lower than 700.

But for many, that first credit card is such a high barrier to entry; annoyingly and paradoxically, you need credit to be able to build credit. And even if you do already have a credit history, the application process itself is often maddeningly opaque.

Shutterstock

I put out the bat signal to a number of credit card experts and people my age who made it over the no-credit hump: How do you go about getting your first card? We’ve cobbled together a step-by-step guide to success. In the words of Leslie Nielsen from “Airplane!”: “Good luck. We’re all counting on you.” (You’ll do fine.)

1. What To Look For In Your First Credit Card

First of all, congratulations on this, your first foray into a complicated financial system that our parents were able to mindlessly navigate. Luckily, the first step in the process is also the most fun and least stressful: researching which credit card you want. You get to judge the credit card issuers before they judge you.

The best card for you will ultimately depend on your unique financial situation, but there are some broad-strokes principles that apply to pretty much everyone.

Here is a checklist of the non-negotiables you should look for in your first credit card:

No Annual Fees

Now is as good a time as ever to start getting indignant about paying money to spend your own money. (This rule also applies to ATMs, checking accounts and splitting meals evenly in a large group when you just had a salad on the side of your water.)

“Perhaps one day you’ll opt for a card that offers lots of perks, points and benefits in exchange for an annual fee, but now is not that time,” said Han Zeng, cofounder of InvestmentZen, a personal finance and investment news site. “You’ll have enough on your plate as you work toward building your credit history. Don’t complicate the matter further”

A Low Interest Rate

OK, so some level-setting: If this is your first credit card ever, it is likely that you have a low credit score or no credit at all. Because of this, you can’t expect to come out of the gate with a card that has an amazing interest rate.

That said, you should still be price-shopping cards by their annual percentage rates — the interest you’ll be charged on the balance you don’t pay off each month. For one, a lower rate is a lower rate, and this will matter if you ever need to carry a balance. (The dream, of course, is that you never will — that your credit card spending will be as judicious as if potential mates were monitoring it. But life sometimes happens.)

Second, comparing APRs will weed out out the really bad actors — the companies that know you’re shopping around with your lousy credit and are hoping to take you for a ride. Beware a much higher-than-average APR.

Here’s a good thing to know: the current average credit card rate. (Just Google that phrase — you’ll be greeted with countless websites aching to tell you.) According to Bankrate, as of early March 2018, the average APR for credit cards is 16.84%. Again, your first card’s rate will probably be higher than that, depending on your credit score — mine was in the mid-20s.

No Store Cards

Speaking of astronomical interest rates, stay away from retail cards, no matter how many times they’re offered to you at checkout.

“Retail cards — such as Target, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, Best Buy — are much easier to get than bank credit cards, but beware: These come with much higher interest rates,” said Holly Morphew, a certified financial health counselor and founder of Financial Impact.

Here’s something that isn’t in the big print on store card advertisements: Retail cards aren’t some magical variety of credit card — they’re just normal cards from normal banks. There is no Bank of Macy’s or Bank of Sunglass Hut.  The store partners with a financial institution you’ve probably already heard of, maybe even one that’s already turned you down; the retailer gets your business, and the bank works out the particulars, usually at a higher interest rate.

Catered Perks

Might as well try, right? The well can be fairly dry for first-time borrowers, but depending on your current credit score, you could qualify for a card that offers you cash-back, airline miles or other benefits.

And, obviously, if you’re in a position to choose among perks, you want the ones that best meet your spending profile, which you know better than anyone. Make sure you go through the fine print on a credit card’s rewards carefully, though; often, a card will offer rotating perks that change monthly or quarterly.

Incentives For Good Behavior

“Look for a card that rewards good behavior,” said Andrew Housser, a consumer finance specialist and co-CEO of Freedom Debt Relief. “Some cards offer a bonus each month when the bill is paid on time. Some offer a waived first late-payment fee, which should never have to be utilized in the first place; others offer no foreign transaction fees … which can be helpful for someone who often travels internationally.”

2. How To Apply (And Not Get Rejected)

If you’re just starting to build credit, you will probably get rejected — maybe even several times — in your quest to open a credit card. That’s fine, and it happens to many people.

Much like being bad at money in general, your temporary inability to get a credit card is not a moral failing.

That said, there are a number of things you can do to raise your chances of getting accepted — and keeping your credit score from dipping during the application process.

Check Your Credit Score Monthly

As tempting as it is to avoid the hairy truth of your financial situation, you need to know exactly what kind of credit you’re dealing with. This will help you calibrate your expectations for what tier of card you can apply for, and it’s also just a smart habit to develop; if you check your score regularly, you’ll be better positioned to triage it, if necessary. Plus, you’ll be able to spot and report any fraud as soon as it occurs.

It’s a good idea to always have a free, direct line into your credit score; you should be able to pull out your phone and check it at any time, within a month’s accuracy. And this is a pretty reasonable goal — many budgeting apps and bank accounts offer free credit score monitoring.

At the very least, pull your credit report as often as you can do it for free.

“Each of the three major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — is required to provide consumers a credit report once a year,” Housser said. That means you can pull a free report once every four months.

Important: annualcreditreport.com is the official, government-recognized website for pulling said credit reports. Almost any other site you find by Googling “free credit reports” will end up charging you money, no matter how much the word “free” is in the branding — take it from someone who once worked for one of them.

Apply For A Card That’s Within Your Credit Range

“The best tip I have to avoid getting rejected is to only apply for the cards you’re qualified for,” Lisa Rowan, a writer and savings expert at The Penny Hoarder, told me. “Generally, credit cards are designed to meet the needs of specific kinds of applicants. For example, some cards are for those who have an excellent credit score (750-plus) while others are designed for those who are still improving their credit scores.”

So, basically: Be realistic, not aspirational. Don’t get lured into applying for a preferred card with fantastic perks for which you have very little hope of getting accepted. There’s no essay portion in a credit card application — no way to demonstrate your unquantifiable value to an issuer. If your credit doesn’t qualify, it doesn’t qualify.

There are a number of good-faith, third-party review websites out there that will tell you the ideal credit score ranges for specific cards. Before you apply, look up this range — and if you don’t fall within it, keep looking.

Don’t “Spray And Pray”

“Each time you apply for a new line of credit, your credit score drops — if you have one — about 10 to 15 points for about one to two months,” Morphew said. “You can get around this by doing all your ‘shopping’ within a 30-day period. By doing this, your credit score is only impacted one time.”

Be intentional and realistic. You’ve done your research on the credit cards you want and you know roughly what you qualify for; time to pick your best bet. Don’t apply for more than one card at a time; wait till you get rejected to apply to your second choice.

Try Your Luck With Legacy Connections

Consider looking at a financial institution that already has some of your business — you could be grandfathered into a credit card account, based on how reliable a customer you’ve been for them.

“Start by going to where you bank to apply for your first credit card,” Morphew said. “Since you have no credit history, they can evaluate your ‘risk’ by looking at your bank accounts. How long you have had your account open, history of overdrafts and average balance will be factored into their decision to give you a line of credit.”

Do this in person — an online application might not give you the opportunity to note that you’re already a customer — and don’t pin all your hopes on this. In my experience, banks and credit unions will indeed take sides against the family if your credit is that bad.

List Multiple Sources of Income

Credit card issuers like to see that you make a steady stream of income — and, unfortunately, size matters. This means freelancers and lower-income applicants will have a tougher time getting approved, especially if they don’t have credit.

There’s no way around this, but you should make sure that you’re reporting all applicable sources of income — you’re allowed to calculate more than just your base salary into the final amount you put down.

“State your income accurately,” Housser said. “Along with reporting salary/employment income, applicants over 21 generally can also list non-employment sources such as investments, spousal and child support, retirement benefits and government benefits.”

Additionally, as of 2013, a married person can also include a spouse’s income — as long as there is a reasonable expectation of access to it. (Thank our beleaguered brothers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for that one.)

3. What To Do If You Get Rejected

Chin up. Remind yourself of your good qualities outside of your creditworthiness.

But also: You now basically have two viable options for moving forward.

Wait And Build Credit Another Way

Option one: You are free to diminish, and go into the West, and work on building your credit through other methods. Then, in a year or so, you’ll apply again with a better chance of getting accepted. Think of this as your gap year.

There are several ways you can build credit without ever going near a credit card application:

  • Are you the person who got stuck paying the utilities in your house or apartment? You might be able to get credit for that. Make sure they’re in your name and that you’re paying them on time. (That second part is just garden-variety good advice, if only to avoid getting disgruntled calls from your power company.)
  • Consider opening a credit builder loan.
  • Do you have auto, personal or student loans? Those all count toward a history of repayment.
  • Can your parents add you as an authorized user on one of their credit cards? This is probably the easiest way to get a good credit score without doing a single thing. Side note: It doesn’t benefit your parents at all, and only opens them up to risk, so: Tell them to form an orderly queue.

Get A Secured Card

If you don’t want to wait a year or so before your second attempt, great news: There is a type of card for which everyone is qualified, regardless of credit history. It’s called a secured card, and it comes with one catch.

“You give the credit card company a certain amount of money — say $300,” Morphew explained. “In exchange, they give you a $300 credit card which is secured with your $300, which they have put in an account to hold for you until you have established you are a responsible card holder — meaning, you pay on time each month. After a period of time, usually 12 months, your bank will give you back the original $300 and you now have a line of credit.”

If you’ve exhausted all other avenues, a secured card is the way to go. You’ll have a card immediately that will effectively function like a checking account, you’ll get to build credit for a year and your bank will, at some point, transfer you to a non-secured credit line, elevating you to the ranks of cardholders everywhere.

4. How To Use Your First Credit Card To Build Credit

Once your application for a credit card is, at long last, accepted, it’s time for your “Pretty Woman” moment. Those other issuers that didn’t want to give your cruddy credit a chance? Big mistake. Huge. You’re going shopping now.

Actually, you’re just going to be putting one or two monthly bills on your card and setting up automatic payments to clear the balance every month. The best revenge is an ascendant credit score.

It’s not hard to build credit once you have a card; most of being good at credit is biding your time, paying bills relatively promptly and keeping your debt down.

To get more technical, FICO scores — which are the industry standard for lenders — use five factors to calculate your credit; your job for the life of this credit card is to do your best to stay on top of them.

Here they are, in order of priority:

  • Payment history (35%): On-time payments make up more than a third of your credit score, which means missing even one can put you in a deep hole. At the very least, make minimum payments each month. If your checking account is replenished often, set up an automatic payment schedule. The more mindless it is for you to stay on top of this bill, the better.
  • Amounts owed (30%): This factor largely has to do with your credit utilization ratio, which is how much of your credit limit you’ve used up and not paid off. The easiest way to get full marks in this category is to pay off your balance every month; if you can’t do that, try not spend more than 30% of your available credit.
  • Length of credit history (15%): To be honest, there’s nothing you can do about this except wait patiently. FICO scores are weighted toward people who have been using credit longer, and you just got your first credit line. Let the inexorable passage of time do its work.
  • Credit mix (10%): This is one example where you might know what’s better for you than a credit scoring conglomerate. FICO privileges people with different types of credit — both revolving (that would be this credit card) and installment (auto loans, student loans, mortgages, etc.). If all you have or need right now is a credit card, that’s fine; there is no universe where you should take on debt just to raise your credit score.
  • New credit (10%): FICO keeps a tab on how many new accounts you open, as well as hard inquiries. Keep it simple: Stick with the one credit card for now.

Building credit is mostly about forming good money habits: Don’t spend more than you can pay off, keep credit available for emergencies and circle payment due dates on your calendar. The rest should, hopefully, take care of itself.

Follow me on Twitter for money tips and personal financial mishaps that I’m passing off as teachable moments. You can also find more writing at my site, On We Blindly Stumble.

[“Source-forbes”]

Groom dons Eagles jersey at wedding after winning bet with fiance

Image result for Groom dons Eagles jersey at wedding after winning bet with fiance

MACUNGIE, PA — Jennifer Sullivan had no faith in the Philadelphia Eagles. She just didn’t believe they had a chance to beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

She was so certain that the Eagles would lose that she bet her fiance Patrick Hanks he could wear a jersey to their wedding if the Eagles pulled off the shocker. Last week, Sullivan had to pay up.

In a video posted by the Associated Press, just as Hanks and Sullivan were about to say “I do,” Hanks rips off his tuxedo jacket and fishes for a jersey behind the alter.

He pulls out a Carson Wentz number 11 jersey and slips it on as wedding guests launch into the familiar Eagles chants.

To her credit, Sullivan appeared to have no issues with paying her debt and seemed to be enjoying the ridiculousness of the situation. The lovely couple was married on May 26 at Bear Creek Mountain Resort.

[“Source-mlive”]

Meghan Markle’s Wedding Veil Makers Washed Their Hands Every 30 Minutes

Meghan Markle’s wedding dress designer, Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, had just five months to prepare for one of the biggest milestones of her career.

Waight Keller said she began designing the gorgeous gown and its incredible 16-foot silk tulle veil with Markle in January, according to a new interview with Paris Match, before millions (if not billions) of people laid eyes on it May 19.

“We very quickly agreed on the perfect dress,” said Waight Keller, the artistic director at Givenchy, according to a translation by People. “I wanted a modern and fresh silhouette while respecting her style.”

The two met for eight fittings for the dress (someone tell Katy Perry) and worked together on the intricate veil, which paid homage to all 53 Commonwealth countries by including flowers from each. Making the veil ― and keeping it spotless ― was no easy task.

“To keep the veil immaculate until the ceremony, the embroiderers washed their hands every 30 minutes,” Waight Keller said.

Kensington Palace described the veil hand-washing details in a statement released shortly after Markle made her debut in the gown on her wedding day, adding that it took workers “hundreds of hours” to make the final product. That sounds like a lot of soap and water.

Accordingly, the veil and the dress looked spotless for the nuptials. And Prince Harry complimented the designer on the gown.

“It is an immense honor to have worked closely with Meghan and to have lived by her side all these special moments. Prince Harry came to me and said, ‘Oh, my God. Thank you. She is absolutely magnificent,’” Waight Keller said. “I am very proud. It’s a fairy tale. A dream come true.”

Victoria Beckham, a former Spice Girl and the designer of her namesake line, thought the Duchess of Sussex “looked absolutely beautiful” at the ceremony.

“It really suited her,” Beckham, who had a front-row seat at the ceremony, told the Evening Standard in an interview last week. “I thought it was perfect for her. And Harry looked great.”

“American Idol” judge Katy Perry wasn’t nearly as enthralled with the gown.

“I would have done one more fitting,” the 33-year-old singer told “Entertainment Tonight.” “I’m never not going to tell the truth! One more fitting, but I love you.”

[“Source-huffingtonpost”]

Rockefeller Jewelry Collection to Lead Christie’s June Sale

Rockefeller Jewelry Collection to Lead Christie's June Sale

The Berlin Ruby Ring, a Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring by Tiffany & Co., of approximately 4.59 carats, Estimate: $400,000 -600,000
(Courtesy: Christie’s)

On June 12, Christie’s New York auction house will sell a collection of jewelry belonging to Peggy and David Rockefeller. The money raised in the auction, “Magnificent Jewels,” will benefit the charities the Rockefeller’s regularly supported.

The auction house said that the top lots of the sale include a Cushion-Cut Diamond weighing 20.47 carats that is D color, Flawless clarity (estimate: $2,500,000-3,500,000), and a Magnificent Diamond Fringe Necklace set with large colorless pear shaped diamonds ranging from D to F color and Internally Flawless to VS2 clarity (estimate: $1,500,000-2,000,000). The highlight of the auction is a notable selection of diamonds, colored diamonds, and gemstones, along with important signed pieces by Bulgari, Cartier, David Webb, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., Raymond Yard, and Van Cleef & Arpels. The sale will offer 189 lots, with estimates ranging from $3,000 to $3,500,000.

According to auction house, “the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller have some unique signed jewels for the collectors. The proceeds of the sale will benefit the philanthropies that Peggy and David Rockefeller supported throughout their lifetime. The most important pieces are from Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., Raymond Yard and Van Cleef & Arpels, incorporating gemstones of the highest quality as well as great design.”

Apart from the Peggy and David Rockefeller collection, additional private collections consisting of many pieces new to the market, will also be put for auction. These pieces are the Property from the Collection of Steve and Peggy Fossett, the Estate of Ruth S. Stanton, and Property Formerly from the collection of Mrs. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The auction will also have a selection of Art Nouveau jewelry led by several rare pieces by Rene Lalique, as well as The Berlin Ruby Ring, a Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring by Tiffany & Co., of approximately 4.59 carats, given by the American composer and lyricist, Irving Berlin, to his wife Ellin in 1966 upon their 40th wedding anniversary.

[“Source-blouinartinfo”]

Jewelry We Hope to See at the Royal Wedding — Straight From Queen Elizabeth’s Collection

<p>After receiving an aquamarine necklace and pair of earrings from the president and people of Brazil in honor of her coronation, the Queen had Garrard amp Co., the former Crown Jeweler of the United Kingdom, make this matching tiara in 1957. She’s continued to update it through her reign, adding even more aquamarines and diamonds to the (already stacked) piece.</p>

After receiving an aquamarine necklace and pair of earrings from the president and people of Brazil in honor of her coronation, the Queen had Garrard amp Co., the former Crown Jeweler of the United Kingdom, make this matching tiara in 1957. She’s continued to update it through her reign, adding even more aquamarines and diamonds to the (already stacked) piece.

<p>Weighing nearly 19 carts, this diamond is shaped like a heart and is surrounded by a platinum web that ends in a border of pavé diamonds. It was originally part of a stomacher designed for Queen Mary in 1911.</p>

Weighing nearly 19 carts, this diamond is shaped like a heart and is surrounded by a platinum web that ends in a border of pavé diamonds. It was originally part of a stomacher designed for Queen Mary in 1911.

<p>The Delhi Durbar was India’s answer to a coronation, a massive gathering to celebrate the succession of a new Emperor or Empress of India. And just like at a coronation, there are jewels aplenty – including this diamond-and-emerald necklace made for Queen Mary for the event.</p>

The Delhi Durbar was India’s answer to a coronation, a massive gathering to celebrate the succession of a new Emperor or Empress of India. And just like at a coronation, there are jewels aplenty – including this diamond-and-emerald necklace made for Queen Mary for the event.

<p>This item is a sentimental one for the Queen – she wore it at her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip. And it’s as fragile as it appears: On the Queen’s wedding day, it broke before the ceremony and had to be quickly repaired for wear.</p>

This item is a sentimental one for the Queen – she wore it at her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip. And it’s as fragile as it appears: On the Queen’s wedding day, it broke before the ceremony and had to be quickly repaired for wear.

<p>This brooch features diamonds, rubies and sapphire “flowers” and was a gift to the Queen from her parents following the birth of Prince Charles in November 1948.</p>

This brooch features diamonds, rubies and sapphire “flowers” and was a gift to the Queen from her parents following the birth of Prince Charles in November 1948.

<p>Originally purchased for the future Queen Mary by a committee of girls from Great Britain and Ireland to celebrate her 1893 wedding, this tiara is now a staple in Queen Elizabeth’s rotation – many even say it’s her favorite. It’s been through many changes in its life: There were originally pearls on top of the points, which now are a part of the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, and it can be worn both with or without a base. The Queen received the tiara as a wedding gift from her grandmother in 1947.</p>

Originally purchased for the future Queen Mary by a committee of girls from Great Britain and Ireland to celebrate her 1893 wedding, this tiara is now a staple in Queen Elizabeth’s rotation – many even say it’s her favorite. It’s been through many changes in its life: There were originally pearls on top of the points, which now are a part of the Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara, and it can be worn both with or without a base. The Queen received the tiara as a wedding gift from her grandmother in 1947.

<p>This diamond-and-pearl tiara is a relic of a lost monarchy: It originally belonged to Grand Duchess Vladimir, the aunt of Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia. She was temporarily separated from the tiara after fleeing St. Petersburg during the Russian Revolution, but was reunited with the piece a few years later when a British Secret Intelligence Service member rescued her jewels from Russia. After all that, she gave the tiara to her daughter, Princess Nicholas of Greece, who sold it to Queen Mary after her mother’s passing. When Mary died, the Queen inherited it – and still wears it today.</p>

This diamond-and-pearl tiara is a relic of a lost monarchy: It originally belonged to Grand Duchess Vladimir, the aunt of Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia. She was temporarily separated from the tiara after fleeing St. Petersburg during the Russian Revolution, but was reunited with the piece a few years later when a British Secret Intelligence Service member rescued her jewels from Russia. After all that, she gave the tiara to her daughter, Princess Nicholas of Greece, who sold it to Queen Mary after her mother’s passing. When Mary died, the Queen inherited it – and still wears it today.

<p>Also known as the Cullinan III and Cullinan IV, these two stones weigh a massive 94.4 and 63.6 carats respectively, and held together, they make a brooch. Since they were frequently worn by Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother, they earned the nickname Granny’s Chips.</p>

<p>This piece was created way back in 1820 for the coronation of King George IV. Now, people may recognize it from the State Opening of Parliament – Queen Elizabeth wears it in the procession to the event every year.</p>
This piece was created way back in 1820 for the coronation of King George IV. Now, people may recognize it from the State Opening of Parliament – Queen Elizabeth wears it in the procession to the event every year.
<p>A tiara was commissioned by the Queen herself to go with this set of earrings, pendant and necklace given to her by her father as a wedding present. The original suite was created in 1850, but the tiara – and a matching bracelet – were not added to the set until 1963.</p>
A tiara was commissioned by the Queen herself to go with this set of earrings, pendant and necklace given to her by her father as a wedding present. The original suite was created in 1850, but the tiara – and a matching bracelet – were not added to the set until 1963.
<p>This diamond-and-ruby necklace with floral detailing was another wedding gift to Queen Elizabeth from her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (and all your parents got you was a blender). It was frequently worn by the Queen in her younger years.</p>
This diamond-and-ruby necklace with floral detailing was another wedding gift to Queen Elizabeth from her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (and all your parents got you was a blender). It was frequently worn by the Queen in her younger years.
<p>This oversized brooch features diamonds set in silver and gold, formed in a bow shape, and is another piece from Queen Mary’s collection that Queen Elizabeth inherited after her death in 1953.</p>
This oversized brooch features diamonds set in silver and gold, formed in a bow shape, and is another piece from Queen Mary’s collection that Queen Elizabeth inherited after her death in 1953.
<p>This Cartier-crafted piece was given to Queen Elizabeth, again as a wedding present, by a dignitary. It was most recently seen on Princess Kate during an event at the National Portrait Gallery in London.</p>
This Cartier-crafted piece was given to Queen Elizabeth, again as a wedding present, by a dignitary. It was most recently seen on Princess Kate during an event at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
<p>This piece is a stomacher – best described as an enlarged brooch worn on the front of a dress. Queen Mary handed it down to her granddaughter, then-Princess Elizabeth, as a wedding present back in 1947, although due to changing fashions, the entire stomacher is rarely worn nowadays.</p>
This piece is a stomacher – best described as an enlarged brooch worn on the front of a dress. Queen Mary handed it down to her granddaughter, then-Princess Elizabeth, as a wedding present back in 1947, although due to changing fashions, the entire stomacher is rarely worn nowadays.
<p>This three-carat diamond solitaire ring may be impressive for an engagement ring, but for the Queen it’s pretty small compared to the other gems in her collection. However, it has impressive origins: The diamonds in the ring were taken from a tiara owned by Philip’s mother, Princess Alice.</p>
This three-carat diamond solitaire ring may be impressive for an engagement ring, but for the Queen it’s pretty small compared to the other gems in her collection. However, it has impressive origins: The diamonds in the ring were taken from a tiara owned by Philip’s mother, Princess Alice.
<p>This star-like diamond with strings of diamonds attached was made for Queen Victoria in 1856 by Garrard amp Co. from diamonds she had been given by the Sultan of Turkey. The brooch has been worn by every Queen that has followed her, including the Queen Mother and of course, Queen Elizabeth.</p>
This star-like diamond with strings of diamonds attached was made for Queen Victoria in 1856 by Garrard amp Co. from diamonds she had been given by the Sultan of Turkey. The brooch has been worn by every Queen that has followed her, including the Queen Mother and of course, Queen Elizabeth.
<p>At the center of this floral brooch is the Williamson Diamond – one of the most precious pink diamonds in the world. This, like many other pieces in her collection, was a wedding present for Queen Elizabeth, given to her by the man who discovered it, Dr. John Thoburn Williamson. It wasn’t for another six years, however, that it was placed in the brooch – and before it was, many guessed it would be mounted for the Queen’s coronation.</p>
At the center of this floral brooch is the Williamson Diamond – one of the most precious pink diamonds in the world. This, like many other pieces in her collection, was a wedding present for Queen Elizabeth, given to her by the man who discovered it, Dr. John Thoburn Williamson. It wasn’t for another six years, however, that it was placed in the brooch – and before it was, many guessed it would be mounted for the Queen’s coronation.
[“Source-people”]