Credit Union Offering Zero Down Mortgages

Navy Federal Credit Union, announced this week its October mortgage closings surpassed $1 billion. This is a record and a coupe for Navy Federal at a time when the REALTOR® Confidence Index (RCI)1,reports that consumers face “tight credit conditions” and challenges in getting loan dollars from lenders. In fact, year-to-date, Navy Federal has made more than $8.3 billion in mortgage funds available to its members.

So, how is it possible for Navy Federal Credit Union to report such substantial mortgage gains, despite a national lending squeeze? Jack Gaffney, executive vice president, Lending, asserts it’s by having both the will and the way to lend.

“Having ample products, competitive rates and specials like offering to pay up to $2500 in closings costs are a must in matching members to mortgages that suit their budget. But by far, being able to offer a “no money down” option is a difference maker,” says Gaffney.

The credit union is one of the few lenders in the market still offering a 100% financing alternative for purchasing a home. The Navy Federal Homebuyer’s Choice Mortgage pulled in $416 million year to date, and the credit union projects near $10 billion in total mortgages booked by year-end.

“For us, huge mortgage success means that we’ve put thousands of families in new homes or placed them securely in their current ones,” says Gaffney, “and, that we’re doing absolutely everything we can to find the exact right mortgage or refinance option to fit our members’ needs. Making homeownership possible is a privilege.”

About Navy Federal Credit Union: Navy Federal Credit Union is the world’s largest credit union with $50 billion in assets, four million members, 227 branches and a workforce of over 10,000 employees worldwide. The credit union serves all Department of Defense military and civilian personnel and their families. For additional information, visit www.navyfederal.org.

1 According to data from the REALTOR® Confidence Index (RCI), September 2012 Edition
http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2012/realtors-confidence-index-2012-10-report.pdf

Contact: Jeanette Mack
Manager, Corporate Communications
Phone: (703) 255-8792
E-mail: jeanette_mack@navyfederal.org

Web Site: https://www.navyfederal.org

Online Loans for Consumers with Low Credit Scores

English: Online Loans Today, All Loans in One ...

Online Loans Today, All Loans in One Place (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LoansForPoorCredit.net announces the launch of its new 3-in-1 approach for capturing the best options and deals for personal loans for bad credit.

For a high number of American consumers who are classed as having bad credit, many are led to believe that it is hard to secure loans with low credit scores or missed past payments. While this was previously the case, many loan companies now specifically cater towards these consumers who are underserved by banks. LoansForPoorCredit is partnered with many such lenders and can provide the crucial introductory link between these companies and consumers in need of their loan products.

LoansForPoorCredit is a free search, comparison and application platform that brings together the best of the online loans for bad credit world, on one convenient site. Its service is available for free and can lead to cash being paid into an applicant’s bank account within one hour in the fastest case scenario.

A spokesperson for LoansForPoorCredit made the announcement.

“LoansForPoorCredit has launched its time-efficient, easy to use 3-in-1 service for finding, comparing and applying for poor credit personal loans online. The service is accessible 24 hours a day from any computer and allows individuals to get a really good picture of what loan products can be made available to them, from many different companies.”

On the topic of choice, the spokesperson added, “The adverse credit loan market is thriving with many great deals. There is a lot more choice out there than people realize. A bad credit loan can and should be competitive, at good rates and fast. We can help individuals find the best loans for them and give consumers the chance to make their own minds up, without commitment, before deciding to accept a loan.”

The online application takes 90 second to complete and provides enough information for loan companies to potentially approve loans of varying amounts. As LoansForPoorCredit is an online operation, there are no paper forms to complete, no faxes to send and, most notably, no credit scoring to withstand. All information provided in the form is confidential and secure.

Learn more: http://www.loansforpoorcredit.net/frequently-ask-questions
Apply at: https://www.loansforpoorcredit.net/apply-now

Contact:
Sam Milo
786-3199951
ilogicltd@gmail.com

Web Site: http://www.loansforpoorcredit.net

Florida Real Estate Prices Heading North

Pending sales, closed sales and median prices rose, while the inventory of homes and condos for sale dropped in Florida’s housing market in October, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

“With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we have a lot to be thankful for here in Florida,” said 2012 Florida Realtors President Summer Greene, regional manager of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st in Fort Lauderdale. “The state’s latest unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest in nearly four years – and combined with the momentum of the housing market, it clearly shows that Florida is on a positive path and has been for months. Pending sales, closed sales and prices are trending up.”

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 17,779 in October, up 25.3 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department and vendor partner 10K Research and Marketing. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Meanwhile, pending sales – contracts that are signed by not yet completed or closed – of existing single-family homes last month rose 56.7 percent over the previous October. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in October was $145,000, up 9 percent from a year ago.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in September 2012 was $184,300, up 11.4 percent from the previous year. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in September was $345,000; in Massachusetts, it was $294,900; in Maryland, it was $244,357; and in New York, it was $225,000.

The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. Housing industry analysts note that sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhomes-condos, a total of 8,252 units sold statewide last month, up 16.4 percent compared to October 2011. Meanwhile, pending sales for townhome-condos in October increased 47.1 percent compared to the year-ago figure. The statewide median for townhome-condo properties was $107,000, up 20.2 percent over the previous year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in September 2012 was $181,000.

The inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.2-months’ supply in October; inventory for townhome-condo properties was also at a 5.2-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors. Industry analysts note that a 5.5-months’ supply symbolically represents a market balanced between buyers and sellers.

“Once again, everything that should be going up in the market is going up, and everything that should be going down is going down,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “As impressive as the year-over-year gains for October are, far more impressive are year-to-date gains of 2012 over 2011. They indicate the depth and resilience of this recovery.”

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.38 percent in October 2012, down from the 4.07 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac.

To see the full statewide housing activity report, go to Florida Realtors Media Center at http://media.floridarealtors.org/ and look under Latest Releases, or download the October 2012 data report PDF under Market Data at: http://media.floridarealtors.org/market-data

Editor’s Note : Florida Realtors 2012 housing market data releases mark a new statewide data reporting partnership between Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department and new vendor partner 10K Research and Marketing. Housing sales data from the state’s local Realtor organizations is collected and organized with the goal of providing unique, localized market reports to the local Realtor boards and associations within Florida Realtors, enabling the groups and their Realtor members to serve as the definitive voice of real estate in their respective local markets. At the same time, Florida Realtors is providing comprehensive statewide housing market statistics – but this new data series only refers to statewide data and does not include metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).

Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 115,000 members in 63 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org .

CONTACT: Marla Martin, Communications Manager, +1-407-438-1400 ext. 2326; or Jeff Zipper, Vice President of Communications, +1-407-438-1400, ext. 2314

Web Site: http://www.media.floridarealtors.org

City Index Group

FX Solutions LLC, a leading retail foreign exchange (forex) dealer and part of the City Index group of companies, today announced the launch of capped variable pricing for its U.S. customers.*

The new pricing is available on the MetaTrader4 (MT4) and GTS trading platforms across 28 forex pairs.  Customers can trade on spreads as low as 0.8 pips on EUR/USD and 1 pip on GBP/USD, USD/JPY and AUD/USD.

The pricing aims to move in sync with the underlying market, potentially providing tighter spreads as liquidity improves.  A ‘cap’ or ‘limit’ is placed on the spread with the intent of restricting it from widening more than the listed cap level.

In the opinion of FX Solutions, the ‘cap’ provides advantages over other variable spread providers, whose spreads, without a ‘cap’, can widen excessively around economic events.  Using Capped Variable Pricing, FX Solutions customers can trade more efficiently with potentially lower spreads.

Capped Variable Pricing is the latest addition to FX Solutions’ U.S. offering and follows the expansion of its market analysis and forex education capabilities with the recent appointment of Chief Technical Strategist, James Chen.

To find out more about FX Solutions, please visit www.fxsolutions.com.

About FX Solutions

FX Solutions is a leading foreign exchange broker with a focus on advanced trading technologies, transparency of trading and customer service. To learn more about FX Solutions, please visit www.fxsolutions.com.

Forex trading involves a substantial risk of loss and may not be suitable for all investors.  FX Solutions is compensated through a portion of the bid/ask spread.

* While we strive to offer capped pricing (spreads) at all times, there may be occasions where a significant market or world event may force us to widen spreads beyond the caps without prior notice. The last time spreads were widened beyond set levels was February 2009. NZD/USD widened from 5 to 7 pips. Spreads vary based on market conditions, including volatility, liquidity and other factors. The minimum spreads referenced herein are intended to occur periodically in normal market conditions on select currency pairs. The spreads you experience throughout a day will differ.

CONTACT: Michelle Welk, +1-609-750-9114, mwelk@sspr.com

Web Site: http://www.fxsolutions.com

Gold Prices Dip Lower

Polski: Sztabka złota ważąca 12,5 kg. Własność...

Gold Prices(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Global gold demand in Q3 2012 was 1,084.6 tonnes (t), down 11% from the record Q3 2011 figure of 1,223.5t.   This dip in demand is in comparison with exceptional demand in Q3 last year. Gold demand remains resilient. Q3 2012 was above the five year quarterly average of 984.7t, according to the World Gold Council’s Gold Demand Trends Report.

In value terms gold demand was 14.0% lower year on year at $57.6bn and the average gold price of $1,652/oz was down 3% on the record average Q3 2011 price.

The key findings from the report are as follows:

  • Global investment in ETFs over the quarter was up significantly by 56% on the previous year.
  • The Indian market is showing signs of recovery, up 9% to 223.1t from 204.8t in Q3 2011 following increases in both jewellery and investment demand. In comparison with Q3 2011 jewellery demand was up 7% to 136.1t and investment demand rose by 12% to 87.0t. Investors moved into the imitation coin market*, up 59%, whilst jewellery increased due to re-stocking ahead of the Indian wedding and festival season. Indians appear to have acclimatised to recent price trends and have been buying into a rising market.
  • In China  demand fell 8% to 176.8t in Q3 2012 from 191.2t in Q3 2011 due to falls in jewellery of 6% and investment of 12% mainly as a result of negative sentiment surrounding China’s slowing economy.  Jewellery demand was 123.8t in Q3 2012, due to a decline in purchases of 18k pieces and a notable slowdown in the expansion of the retail network, as stock-building reduced. Investment demand was down to 53.0t Demand this quarter remains 19% above the longer term average.
  • Central banks bought 97.6t in the quarter. In six out of the last seven quarters, central bank demand has been around 100t, which is a sharp increase from as recently as 2010. The year to date figure for central bank buying is up 9%.

 

Marcus Grubb, Managing Director, Investment at the World Gold Council said:

“Gold is beginning to re-establish itself as part of the fabric of the financial system. In the medium term, the quantitative easing initiatives in the West and the continuing growth story in the East, particularly in India and China, coupled with the seasonally strong quarter coming up in Asia, are excellent indicators for further growth in the gold market.

“Against a backdrop of continued global economic uncertainty and elections in China and the US, it is clear from five year rising demand trends that gold’s fundamental property as a vehicle for capital preservation continues to endure, as evidenced by this quarter’s increase in global ETF investment, up 56% and continued purchasing by central banks, the ultimate long term investors.”

Gold demand and supply statistics for Q3 2012:

  • Third quarter gold demand of 1,084.6t was down 11.0% in comparison to Q3 2011.
  • The value measure of gold demand was 14.0% lower year on year at $57.6bn.
  • The average gold price of $1,652/oz was down 3% on the record average Q3 2011 price.
  • Investment demand (the sum of ETFs and total bar and coin demand) was 429.9t, down 16% compared to the same quarter last year, but was 23% above the five year average.
  • Demand for ETFs and similar products in Q3 was up by 56.0% on the previous year to 136.0t.
  • Demand in the jewellery sector was down 2.0% to 448.8t compared to 458.0t in the same quarter in 2011. The ongoing slowdown in China continued to dampen demand in the second largest regional jewellery market
  • Third quarter demand for gold in the technology sector was down on Q3 2011 by 6.0% at 108.0t though remains stable. Use of gold in electronics has shown a steady level of incremental growth since Q4 2011, driven by demand for tablet devices and mobile phones among others.
  • Both the supply of gold and recycling were down 2% in the third quarter compared to year earlier levels, with mine production down 1% for Q3 2012.

 

The Q3 2012 Gold Demand Trends report, which includes comprehensive data provided by Thomson Reuters GFMS, can be viewed at: http://www.gold.org/media and on our new iPad app which can be downloaded from http://www.itunes.com and a video can be seen here.

Note to editors:

*Imitation coin market in India

In India an imitation coin is the term used to describe a round medallion bought for savings or gift purposes. These coins are generally rectangular, oval or round shapes and more than 50% are expected to be exchanged for jewellery over time. Demand tends to be seasonal, sold mainly during the marriage seasons and at festivals, especially at the time of Diwali.

World Gold Council

The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry. Working within the investment, jewellery and technology sectors, as well as engaging in government affairs, our purpose is to provide industry leadership, whilst stimulating and sustaining demand for gold.

We develop gold-backed solutions, services and markets, based on true market insight. As a result, we create structural shifts in demand for gold across key market sectors.

We provide insights into the international gold markets, helping people to better understand the wealth preservation qualities of gold and its role in meeting the social and environmental needs of society.

Based in the UK, with operations in India, the Far East, Europe and the US, the World Gold Council is an association whose members include the world’s leading and most forward thinking gold mining companies.

CONTACT: For further information please contact: Melissa McVeigh, World Gold Council, T +44(0)207826-4754, Emelissa.mcveigh@gold.org; Giles Abbott, Capital MSL, T +44(0)20-7307-5340, E giles.abbott@capitalmsl.com

Finance

Retirement (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

As the Association of British Insurers warned last week that living beyond 100 will become the norm by 2100*, research from later-living experts McCarthy & Stone reveals many over-60s have no idea how they are going to cope financially.

McCarthy & Stone, which has launched a free mini-guide to financial planning for later life to help people plan for their retirement, conducted research among 1,000 retired people aged over 60 and found:

  • Nine per cent of respondents have no idea how they are going to cope in the future, which if compared to the population of over-60s living in the UK, equates to over 1.2m people**
  • 25 per cent have not made a will
  • 48 per cent have never talked to their family about their money, pension, savings or future housing and care needs

McCarthy & Stone’s new financial planning guide provides a variety of information, including a financial planning checklist, advice on state benefits that people might be entitled to and options to help them fund their retirement, including equity release and downsizing. It also gives advice on issues such as making a will and appointing a power of attorney.

Ali Crossley, Executive Director of McCarthy & Stone, said: “As experts predict that life expectancy will continue to increase, people cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand about the way they will manage financially in their retirement years. They need to discuss these issues with their family and put clear plans in place.

“Our new free guide provides a concise overview of the key financial issues and options that people should consider when planning for retirement, plus organisations that can provide further help and advice. We believe it will be invaluable for many older people who feel daunted by the financial implications of retirement.”

The guide follows a number of financial services that have recently been launched by McCarthy & Stone including a Pension Annuities Service, an Equity Release Service, a Lasting Power of Attorney Service and a Guaranteed Funeral Plan.

The guide can be obtained by calling +44(0) 800 919 132 or by e-mailing money@mccarthyandstone.co.uk .

Notes to Editors

McCarthy & Stone Money   provides financial planning services to people in later life. The company offers a range of financial services that are tailored around the customer to enable them to make the right choices when making important decisions about how to support their retirement lifestyle:

  • An annuities comparison service.
  • An equity release service in partnership with Age Partnership.
  • Later Life Planning services such as Will writing and the preparation and registration of a Lasting Power of Attorney (Property & Finance), as well as thoughtful and cost-effective support with planning a funeral.
  • A Free Benefits Advice that offers customers support to help understand which benefits they are entitled to and how much financial support they can expect to receive.

*Otto Thoresen sets out a five point plan to tackle the UK savings gap in his speech to The Actuarial Profession Life Insurance Conference in Brussels (PDF). http://www.abi.org.uk

**14,275,000 over 60s in the UK in 2011 (Office of National Statistics, UK Population Report, 29 March 2012). 9% of this group equals 1,284,750.

The research was conducted for McCarthy & Stone by OnePoll

For more information:

Andrew Baud, andrew.baud@talapr.co.uk, +44(0)20-3397-3383 or +44(0)7775-715775
Julian Hargood, julian.hargood@talapr.co.uk, +44(0)20-3397-3383 or +44(0)7521-907919
Catherine McNulty, catherine.mcnulty@talapr.co.uk, +44(0)20-3397-3383 or +44(0)7943-855078

Casino Operators Hot to Trot for Phila.

English: Slot machines in the Trump Taj Mahal ...

Casinos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced today that it received six applications for the available Category 2 Slot Machine Operator license prior to the close of the application period on Thursday. The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act mandates that this license be awarded to an applicant that would place the facility in the City of Philadelphia.

A Category 2 stand-alone license enables the casino operator to have up to 5,000 slot machines and 250 tables games.

Applications received in the Harrisburg PGCB offices, along with the stated location of the casino, are:

  • Tower Entertainment, LLC (The Provence) at 400 North Broad Street
  • Market East Associates (Casino Philadelphia)at 8th and Market Street
  • Wynn PA, Inc. (Wynn Philadelphia) at 2001 Beach Street, and 2001 through 2005 Richmond Street
  • PHL Local Gaming, LLC (Casino Revolution) at 3333 South Front Street
  • PA Gaming Ventures, LLC (Hollywood Casino Philadelphia) at 700 Packer Avenue
  • Stadium Casino, LLC (Live! Hotel and Casino) at 900 Packer Avenue

The agency will later announce when public versions of the applications will be available on the Board’s web site.

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Pennsylvania’s first new state agency in nearly 30 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. The 11 casinos in operation all offer both slot machine and table game gambling, employ over 16,000 people, and collectively generate an average of $4 million per day in tax revenue. A portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvania homeowners; provide funds to the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry, fire companies, a statewide water and sewer project grant program, and the state’s General Fund; and, established a new stream of tax revenue to local governments that host casinos for community projects.

A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board’s regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. At this website, visitors can watch Board meetings live or view videos of past meetings, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information.  You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.

CONTACT: Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Web Site: http://www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov

Starbucks Acquisition Under Investigation

Redesigned logo used from 2011-present.

Starbucks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shareholder rights attorneys at Robbins Umeda LLP is investigating possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of the law by members of the board of directors of Teavana Holdings Inc. (NYSE: TEA) in connection with their efforts to sell the company to Starbucks Corp. (NASDQ: SBUX).

On November 14, 2012, Teavana and Starbucks announced they had entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Starbucks will acquire Teavana through an all cash tender offer with a total value of $620 million. Teavana shareholders will receive $15.50 per share. Following the completion of the merger, Teavana will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starbucks.

Board’s Actions May Prevent Teavana Shareholders from Receiving the Maximum Value for Their Stock

Robbins Umeda LLP’s investigation focuses on whether the board of directors at Teavana is undertaking a fair process to obtain maximum value and adequately compensate its shareholders.  The offer price is substantially below the company’s stock price earlier this year and below the company’s stock price during its initial public offering last year.  Further, multiple analysts have set price targets higher than the $15.50 offer price. As recently as September 5, 2012, an analyst from KeyBanc set a target price of $24 per share, and an analyst from Piper Jaffrey set a price of $23 per share on September 4, 2012.  Finally, recently the company has reported impressive results.  On September 4, 2012, Teavana reported its second quarter 2012 earnings results reflecting a 38% increase in net sales and a 3.5% increase in comparable sales over the same quarter in 2011.  Given these financials and the company’s historical stock price, the firm is examining the board of directors’ decision to sell Teavana now rather than allow shareholders to continue to participate in the company’s continued success and future growth prospects.

Teavana shareholders have the option to file a class action lawsuit against the company to secure the best possible price for shareholders and the disclosure of material information so shareholders can vote on the transaction in an informed manner.  Teavana shareholders interested in information about their rights and potential remedies can contact Darnell R. Donahue at (800) 350-6003, ddonahue@robbinsumeda.com, or via the shareholder information form on the firm’s website.

Robbins Umeda LLP is a nationally recognized leader in securities litigation and shareholder rights law. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in shareholder derivative and securities class action lawsuits, and has helped its clients realize more than $1 billion of value for themselves and the companies in which they have invested. For more information, please go to http://www.robbinsumeda.com.

Press release link: http://www.robbinsumeda.com/shareholders-rights-blog/teavana-holdings-inc/

Attorney Advertising.Past results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Contact:
Robbins Umeda LLP
Darnell R. Donahue
ddonahue@robbinsumeda.com
(619) 525-3990 or Toll Free (800) 350-6003
www.robbinsumeda.com

Web Site: http://robbinsumeda.com

Stock Market Optimisim Dips Again

 Investors’ confidence dipped somewhat again in the third quarter of 2012, according to the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index®, released today by John Hancock Financial Services.  Investor sentiment declined by two points to +17 in the third quarter compared with a score of +19 in the second quarter of this year. The shift was driven by a drop in positive attitudes toward investing in bonds partially offset by very small upticks in stocks and real estate.

It was the second consecutive two-point drop quarter to quarter for the Index, which also declined from +21 in Q1 2012 to +19 in Q2 2012.  Still, the Index remains above the +15 score in the fourth quarter of 2011, and well above its low of +10 in the third quarter of 2011.

The John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index® is a quarterly measure of investors’ views on a range of investment choices, life goals, and economic outlook, as well as their confidence in these areas.  The John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index® is derived from a quarterly poll of approximately 1,000 investors, and reflects the percentage of those who say they believe it is a “good” or “very good” time to invest, minus those who feel the opposite. The third quarter survey was conducted from mid-to late August of 2012.

Investors’ views on most types of investments remained largely unchanged in the third quarter of 2012 compared with the year’s second quarter. Forty-nine percent of investors in the third quarter said it was a good time to invest in stocks compared to 48 percent in the second quarter. Nearly 25 percent thought it was a good time to invest in bonds (24 percent), down slightly from 27 percent in Q2.

However, several measures have changed significantly compared with levels of one year ago. Investors were more bullish on stocks in Q3 of this year, with 49 percent saying it was a good time to invest in them, which is up from 41 percent in the third quarter of 2011. Fifty-one percent of investors had positive views of balanced mutual funds in Q3 of 2012, which also is up significantly from 42 percent in Q2 of last year.

Optimism seems to be rising in certain areas. Positive attitudes are increasing toward retirement products, with 73 percent saying it is a good time to contribute to 401(k) plans or IRAs, whereas in the third quarter of last year that number for IRAs was 67 percent and 66 percent for 401(k) plans.  While healthcare costs remain a major worry for investors, the share of investors ranking it highest as a concern (56 percent) is down significantly from 64 percent in the second quarter of 2012.

However not all themes are positive.  Optimism about stock market growth has waned.  Significantly fewer investors now think the Dow will close above 13,000 in June of 2013 (67 percent), compared with 74 percent in the second quarter of 2012 who thought the market would reach that level. And compared with the second quarter of this year, more people are worried about being able to save enough for retirement (33 percent in Q3 of this year versus 27 percent who were worried in Q2).

“Investors are showing consistency in their attitudes toward many investment products, and seem to be saying there isn’t much on the horizon that would cause them to change their views,” said Bill Cheney, John Hancock’s Chief Economist.  “We are continuing to see positive trends, for example with investors remaining committed to investing in retirement plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs. Nine in ten investors (88 percent) are confident in their ability to maintain a financially secure retirement. And 94 percent of those we surveyed describe themselves as long-term investors.”

Among the findings for Q3 2012:

  • Investors predicted that blue chip stocks will perform best over the next six months. Twenty-four percent said this, up sharply from 17 percent who thought so in the third quarter of 2011. Small caps have the best outlook according to 13 percent of investors, whereas seven percent thought so a year ago.
  • Of the major issues facing the US, investors’ chief concern continued to be the level of the national debt (62 percent), which replaced healthcare costs as the top concern
  • Nearly four in ten investors (36 percent) predicted that the inflation rate will be four percent or higher two years from now, while just 21 percent thought inflation will run at less than three percent.
  • Saving for retirement remained investors’ biggest financial priority (34 percent said this).  As a top priority, paying down debt has dropped in importance, with nine percent saying it is most important to them compared with 14 percent who said so in Q3 of last year.

About the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey
John Hancock’s Investor Sentiment Survey is a quarterly poll of investors.  The survey measures investors’ feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment.  The poll also asks consumers about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and likelihood of purchasing financial products and services.

This online survey was conducted by independent research firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates.  A total of 1,027 investors were surveyed August 13 th  to August 24 th  2012. Respondents were selected from among members of Research Now’s online research panel.  To qualify, respondents were required to participate at least to some extent in their household’s financial decision-making process, have a household income of at least $75,000, and assets of $100,000.

The data were weighted by age and education to reflect the population of Americans matching the survey’s qualification requirements. In a similarly-sized random sample survey, the margin of error would be plus or minus 3.12 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.  Due to rounding and missing categories, numbers presented may not always total to 100 percent.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation
John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, John Hancock celebrates 150 years of serving clients across the United States, while Manulife celebrates its 125th anniversary. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial Corporation offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$514 billion (US$504 billion) as at June 30, 2012. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com .

CONTACT: Beth McGoldrick, +1-617-663-4751, bmcgoldrick@jhancock.com

Web Site: http://www.jhancock.com

Bankruptcy Filing Tips

Bankruptcy Filings...

Bankruptcy Filings... (Photo credit: MyEyeSees)

It can be very complicated to file for personal bankruptcy. Bankruptcies come in different types; what you choose is subject to your financial situation and the kind of debts that you have. You need to know all you can about bankruptcy before you decide to file your petition. The below advice can assist you in beginning.

During a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may still be able to get a mortgage or car loan. But, it could be harder. You must meet with a trustee to gain approval for a new loan. Draw up a budget, demonstrating that you can afford the new loan payment. The odds are also good that you will be asked exactly why you’re purchasing a new item. Make sure you have a good reason.

Make sure you hire a good bankruptcy lawyer. Because of the increase in bankruptcy filings, this field attracts a lot of newer, inexperienced attorneys. Be sure the attorney you retain has at least five years of experience and is board certified. The Internet could be a great help in checking the disciplinary record of a particular lawyer, as well as his background and client ratings.

Timing is everything. Timing can be critical when it comes to personal bankruptcy cases. For some people, filing right away is best, however for others, waiting a while is best. A lawyer is in the best position to evaluate your case and figure out when you should file for bankruptcy.

If your debt problem is mostly in the form of student loans, you might have a hard time filing for bankruptcy. The majority of states have very tough laws in regards to discharging student loan debt. If you wish to discharge student loan debt, it is necessary to demonstrate undue hardship for extreme hardship.

When you are on the road to filing for bankruptcy, you are likely to have more than a few conversations with your creditors. Make a point of getting any agreements you make with creditors in writing. Offers of flexibility received from your creditors can greatly affect your bankruptcy case, but they must be in written form.

Two to three months following your bankruptcy hearing, get a copy of your credit score from the major reporting agencies. It is important to make sure the report reflects your debts as satisfied and that any accounts you closed are noted. If anything is incorrect, then follow up quickly and start repairing your credit.

Some good personal bankruptcy advice is to think twice about getting a divorce when you are in a difficult financial situation. Many people who divorce must immediately file bankruptcy because of unforeseen financial difficulties. Reconsidering divorce can be a very smart option.

Now you can probably see that filing bankruptcy is a decision that is best thought out carefully before pursuing. After weighing all of your options, if you conclude that bankruptcy is the best option for your particular situation, be sure to hire a competent attorney. Follow the advice given in this article to get through this rough time and move on to a more secure financial future.

Disclaimer: The writer is not a licensed Attorney and is not giving legal advice in this article. The article was written for educational purposes only. Seek a competent Bankruptcy Attorney for answers to your individual legal questions.

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