If you drive a car then you’re legally obligated to have auto insurance. But if only finding and buying an auto insurance policy were that easy. Auto insurance policies have many features, some are really important and others not so much. That’s why it’s important to master the art of comparison shopping, says Bankrate. One of the websites you can do this with is CoverHound, a one-stop shop for all auto insurance compare questions and curiosities.

But regardless of the means you use to shop and compare auto insurance, you should keep the following things in mind to get the best insurance possible.

The Must Haves

There are certain things you have to have in an auto insurance policy and a good policy will include them. They are:

  • Windshield coverage. This ensures that your windshield will be replaced or repaired if damaged. A good policy will make sure you get up to the market value for your windshield replacement, but you may want to check if windows or sunroofs are also included.
  • Personal Belonging coverage. This covers the damage or loss of personal items in an accident or due to theft or fire when they are in your car. A good policy will insure your belongings for $300 or more, but this normally doesn’t include items like money, debit or credit cards and tickets. Plus, if you’ve left things in an unlocked car or convertible with the top down, they may not be covered.
  • Theft or Loss of Keys. A good policy will insure the loss or theft of the keys to the car, alarm, steering lock or garage door is covered up to a certain value.
  • Protected no claims discount. This protects a no claims discount and ensures that you don’t lose it following a claim. A good policy will give you the choice of adding this to your policy or include it standard for up to two claims in a three year time period.
  • If you are in an accident and your car is not drivable from the scene. A good insurance policy will include removing your car from the accident site to either the junkyard or to a shop for repair.
  • Rental car. If your car needs repairs due to an accident, then a good policy will make sure that you have a reasonable replacement until the repairs are finished. This can be included or be an add on.
  • If your car is in an accident and needs to be repaired then a good insurance policy will guarantee repair work at an approved shop.

The Should Haves

These are items that should be included or at least available as an add on in a good insurance policy. They are:

  • New car replacement. In the event that your car is stolen or damaged in an accident and deemed a total loss.
  • Stereo and navigation coverage. This ensures that your stereo or navigation system is covered for damage or loss.
  • Accident transport. A good policy will provide transportation for you and any passengers if you are in an accident and your car is not in drivable condition.
  • Hotel expenses. If you are in an accident away from home, the insurance company will pay for a hotel for your passengers.
  • 24-hour hotline for help. If you have an emergency, your insurance company should have a number you can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Legal expenses. If you are in an accident that is not your fault, your provider should offer legal help to assist you in any recovery of uninsured losses.
  • Breakdown coverage or roadside assistance. If you’re out and about and your car has a mechanical failure, you should be able to call for a tow.

The Could Haves

These are not often standard on an auto insurance policy, but could be included or at least offered as at an additional cost.

  • Driving abroad coverage.
  • Children’s car seat replacement, if it is damaged in an accident.

What to Watch Out For

These are things that you should look at your insurance policy for as an indication of how good your policy is. They are:

  • Accidental damage excess. This is how much money you will need to pay in the event of an accident. If it seems like a large amount, you may want to go shopping for new insurance.
  • Windshield replacement excess. This is how much money you will need to pay if you have to replace your windshield.

These are guidelines for what to look for in an auto insurance policy. The best thing you can do to make sure you’re getting the best deal is to comparison shop, and not just when you’re looking for a new policy. It’s also a good practice to shop around every couple of years to make sure you are really getting the best deal you can.


Harriet Stephens is an associate chief information officer at the G/6 division of the US military, who is a recommended specialist by the Booz Allen Hamilton agency. As part of the HQDA staff of the military, Harriet has served several roles in the army, having first joined as a staff officer in 2007. Since then, she has taken up several diverse roles, primarily concerning information technology operations for the DISA, or the Defense Information Systems Agency. She is also the deputy of the DISA Implementation team, she reports to the DISA command center, the CYBERCOM support team and has served as the liaison officer to the DISA Command Center, PACOM and STRATCOM, all as an information technology specialist.

An undergraduate at the Mercer University, Harriet went on to complete her Bachelor of Science Degree from the Columbus State University, specializing in General Allied Health, Health Services and Health Sciences. Known to be an extremely active individual during her college days, Stephens was engaged in many university societies and activities. She served as the president of the dental hygiene club and she was also involved with alumni affairs and the student council. Furthermore, she was an adjutant of the ROTC brigade at her university. Ever since her graduation days, Stephens has taken keen interest in a diverse set of activities and this has transformed her into an individual with fine work ethics and one who enjoys a diverse set of skills.

Harriet’s skill set touches upon everything ranging from project management, program management, requirements analysis, government contracting, integration, information assurance and security and clearance, among many others. Most of these skills were accumulated since her college days and since she started off as a staff officer with the US Army. Today, she is seen as an important IT specialist who serves many crucial functions for the DISA.

All her associates recommend Harriet as a fine worker with great ethics and immense potential. She has often been recommended as a wonderful team player and one who is never shy of taking up a new role. Over the years, she has taken up many different roles and she continues to do so with the US military and the DISA. It is no wonder that the renowned technology and strategy consulting company, Booz Allen Hamilton recommends her services as an IT specialist as well.

Harriet Stephens has been a hard working individual all throughout her life and has always taken up challenges thrown towards her. Ever since her younger days, she has been involved in a variety of activities and this has also translated into her professional career, where she enjoys a diverse set of roles in addition to being the associate CIO for the DISA. With every passing day, Harriet takes up more and more important tasks and given her wonderful work ethics and professional culture, she is all set to go even further in life.


China has generated a large amount of controversy and speculation on the forex markets of late of late, with its economic policies creating a tumultuous and volatile few months for the nation’s currency.

Indeed, the last few days have seen the country’s foreign reserves – the largest on record – fall to an astonishing three-year low. With the eyes of the world firmly glued on this eastern powerhouse, we assess the veracity of the nation’s claims that reserves remain ‘relatively abundant’…

A Three-Year Low

Recently, China’s foreign reserves have experienced an extreme dip, falling to a three-year low. This is not the first time in the last few months that severe depreciation in the value of reserves has been witnessed. November also marked a cataclysmic drop, which totalled 87.2 billion dollars.

With a 107.9 billion dollar shortfall to explain, ministers claim that the US interest rate hike is the key cause, and remain firm in their conviction that reserves are still ‘relatively abundant’.

Arguably, their statement holds a good deal of truth. Despite the record monthly fall, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) estimate that its reserves still amount to 3.3 trillion dollars, making them the largest in the world.

SAFE Unconcerned

Despite this mammoth depreciation, and the drop of the yuan to a five-year low this week, China remains the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, and SAFE has shrugged off all concerns from investors, commentators, and other anxious parties.

In a statement released by the organisation, they said that the fundamentals of the Chinese economy remain strong, and that “generally speaking, China’s financial system is stable and healthy.”

They also made clear their intention to encourage and facilitate cross-border trade and investment, and outlined their desire to promote the currency’s convertibility.

Additionally, SAFE stated an intent to re-strengthen the monitoring of the country’s balance of payments, as well as an aim to assess, evaluate, and improve its regulation of foreign debt and cross-border capital flows.

Focusing on the Future

It is not only SAFE which is looking at ways to remedy the Chinese situation. The nation itself is proving hands-on in its search for a solution, and many of these centre around reinvigorating its export market.

This focus has been catalysed by a pattern of decline in this area. The trend has prompted a whole host of reforms, some of which are already being implemented, and which aim to turn the country’s export dependent economy into one with a greater emphasis and reliance on consumption.

Additionally, overseas direct investment has also been vamped up, which has seen Chinese companies invest 104 billion dollars in foreign ventures over the past 11 months.

With a proactive approach to currency depreciation, a host of experts warning investors not to underestimate the Chinese economy, and a plethora of reforms already in place, could it be that China is set to turn its fortunes around in 2016?


Foreign currency trading is an art more than a science. Just like an art there is always a talent involved to achieve perfection, currency trading also needs a skillful approach to achieve success in the long run. It is the talent and hard work only which will take you as far as you want to go in trading online. Sincere traders in Forex trading always perform self analysis and learn tips to drive their trades and learn how to keep all the obstacles away from a disciplined trading. Here we will discuss some of the best tips which novice currency traders should adopt that will help them to make smarter and more profitable trades.

Define your goals for foreign currency trading

When you start any journey, you always have an idea of your destination and how you will reach there. Similarly in foreign currency trading, you should have clear idea about the level you want to reach and how will you reach that level. You should be clear about your trading goals and what you want to achieve with trading online. Know your trading personality and select the style which suits your personality. Create a full plan for how you will perform the Forex trading and this brings confidence in you when you start trading.

Always choose a broker with which you are comfortable and offers a suitable trading platform for you

It is really important to choose a Forex broker who is reputed and have policies with which you are comfortable. The trading platform provided by the broker should be suitable for you and should match your trading style. You should also be able to make analysis with the platform provided by the broker and all the required tools for analysis should be there. A good broker with a poor platform or a good platform with a poor broker, both can be of problem for you.

Choose a trading online strategy and be consistent with it

Choosing a methodology or strategy in foreign currency trading is important to be successful. Forex trading is not a gambling game and only those succeed in the long run who follow a strategy and be consistent with it. There are many strategies used by the currency traders who use for trading online.  Every trader chooses the strategy matching the style and personality of the currency trader. But always be sure that your strategy is adaptive and with time you may need to change your strategies. The system should be adaptive to the dynamic changes in the market.

Maintain a diary for trading analysis

Yourself-analysis is very important in foreign currency trading online and you should always maintain a diary which keeps track of all the trading orders you have executed with the reasons listed for every trade. Doing this you can always analyze your trades, learn from your mistakes and adapt the successful strategies.

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When it comes to career paths available to someone with a law degree, the initial thoughts probably settle on the most traditional applications of the degree: lawyers joining firms or working for the government. While these are classic and well-respected applications of a legal education, it doesn’t mean those are the only possibilities available when you begin planning a career in the legal sector.

Alternative career paths

The education that law school gives its students encompasses a variety of skillsets that careers outside of traditional law paths can benefit from. The knowledge and experience gained in obtaining it is what makes a law degree such a sought after qualification. A student who has thoroughly learned these skills has a saleable asset when pursuing a career, even if it does not typically fall in the scope of the legal field. The expertise that gives law graduates an advantage in the business world and other fields includes the ability to defend and justify statements orally and in writing, presenting and contextualizing information, and accurately evaluating facts. While these are commonly taught as part of a law degree, remembering that these are proficiencies in their own right with uses outside law is important when considering alternate career options.

You can find a demand for your education in law across many different fields, utilizing marketable skills you learned in new ways. The ability to communicate clearly whether on paper or verbally, combined with experience in understanding the interplay of different elements in a complex issue lends itself well to a continued career in journalism after law school, while the ability to understand contracts and negotiation is valuable in entrepreneurship. If you have a desire to turn your attention to politics, there’s a precedence of high-ranking politicians with law degrees with representation from senate, congress, and even previous presidents. This is no surprise when you consider that a law degree teaches how to examine both sides of an argument to see the merit of opposing viewpoints, in addition to learning how to approach issues with critical analysis.

Operating internationally in the legal sector

Studying law and choosing to pursue a career in the legal sector can seem like the most standard choice but even then there are diverse possibilities where you can find a path that suits your particular interests. If you have an interest in international affairs, operating internationally as a lawyer could be a fulfilling choice in your career. International law can be separated further into specializations such as international treaties and agreements or multinational litigation, giving you more options to choose from when you consider the possibility of a career in international law.

Successful international lawyers, like Shahram Shirkhani can benefit the economy of their country by helping negotiate legal trade documents or assisting in commercial arbitration. The companies that Shahram Shirkhani has represented range from small private entities to multinational corporations, and he has even arranged loan facilities between the United States and Iran during his time as international legal advisor to Iran’s Foreign Investment Authority.

Choosing to obtain an education in law school opens the doors for exciting opportunities both inside the legal sector and outside of it. Whether you choose to follow a career that focuses on international law or elect to follow your passions elsewhere to a field such as politics, the education that you receive with your law degree gives you a skillset that employers across a range of industries prize, making it a valuable investment when you begin planning for your career.


Regardless of your age, it’s always important to think about your retirement and how you’ll be able to support yourself financially as you get older. Taking the proper measures can give you an extra financial cushion so that you hopefully won’t have to worry about covering expenses after you’ve stopped working. Here are a few things you can do to maximize your savings for your retirement.

Minimize Your Taxes

There are ways you can reduce the amount you owe the government so that you can invest the extra money into your retirement savings. You may qualify for certain deductions that can dramatically reduce your tax bill. You’ll likely have to do some extra footwork to take advantage of these deductions, but doing so may prove to be a wise financial decision on your behalf.

Hire a Wealth Management Specialist

Wealth management specialists can advise you on how to invest your money and manage your funds so that you can enjoy some additional financial stability when you’re ready to quit working. Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch is just one of many high-profile wealth advisors who helps people make the most of their money. These professionals can even assist you with trust and estate planning as well as stock management.

Invest in a 401(k) Plan

This type of investment plan is specifically designed for people to set aside money for retirement. Many companies offer these plans to their employees, and your employer will likely match a certain percentage of your investment. If you’re no longer employed with the company but have already invested into a 401(k), you can roll that money into an IRA or other type of retirement account without having to pay a penalty for an early withdrawal.

Increase Your Contributions

If you want to have as much money as possible for when you retire, you should consider maximizing the contributions that go into your retirement accounts. Most plans will only let you maximize your contributions up to a certain amount, so you’ll want to choose a plan that will allow you to invest as much as possible.

Avoid Touching Your Retirement Savings

Although it may be tempting to access your retirement funds to pay for certain expenses, it’s best to leave them in your accounts and look for other alternatives. In addition to potentially dramatically increasing the amounts in your retirement accounts, you may have to pay stiff penalties for taking any withdrawals before your retirement age.

Consider Your Social Security Benefits

Social security benefits allow you to receive monthly payments from the government for when you retire or are no longer able to work because of a debilitating physical or mental condition. You can find out how much you can expect to receive when you retire in advance so that you can get a better idea of how to plan your spending. One of the best parts about receiving these benefits is that they are usually not taxable.

Cut Your Spending Today

What you save today can be invested for tomorrow, and this philosophy could prove to be highly valuable for your golden years. Some of the best ways to cut expenses is to eat out less frequently, splurge less on entertainment and buy clothing at cheaper prices. You can also cut expenses by switching to phone and Internet plans that are less expensive.

When you prioritize the notion of saving for your retirement, you’ll be able to invest in your future more wisely. Taking the necessary steps to maximize your savings can save you a lot of worries when you’re ready to quit working for good.

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Whenever I am asked what I would recommend for starting a business, I skip over the usual notion of finding a product/service that’s popular or in-demand and instead recommend they start with a hobby.

A hobby is something you’re accustomed to and know a great deal about. You also have connections with other hobby enthusiasts and know what sites they visit (which assists later in marketing).

Additionally, your knowledge of the hobby puts you in a position where you can immediately find ways to sell products, services, or information to those that are getting their feet wet with the hobby so there is already a market to go after.

We all have hobbies and each one of them have things in common:

  • There is an on-going learning process
  • There are items needed to begin the process
  • There are communities that share information

Combine those three things and you have the recipe for a side-income opportunity; all that is needed is the platform to sell a product/service, a marketing plan, and motivation/passion to pursue the dream.

Here’s how it gets done:

Setup the Platform – A website and social media profile (Facebook will do the trick) is what you’ll want to start when creating your side-income opportunity. Website creation is easy if you use a free website tool such as Wix but you could always hand-code or purchase a template from a marketplace like ThemeForest. Setting up an online store isn’t as complicated as you’d think – it can be done in afternoon with enough motivation. The second of this is to create a Facebook profile for your business so you can begin building a following. The two, working together, will keep your audience informed, allow them to make purchases, and be used as a platform to share your knowledge.

Diversify the Income Sources – Having an online site of your own is great for selling your products, services, or information but it’s wise to diversify the income sources by leveraging other platforms. For example, if your hobby was collecting and selling rare documents and signatures you would want to utilize a platform like Raab Collection to find the right buyers. There are plenty of popular choices like Ebay and Amazon but don’t forget about the smaller options like selling directly through forums or social media.

Source the Products/Services/Info – Get in touch with the manufacturers of the items that are created for your hobby and see if you could register as a reseller. Alternatively, consider becoming an affiliate for one or two of the major product/service providers for your hobby industry. A third option is to create information products such as ebooks or video courses that could be tailored to teaching others the basics, mid-level, and advanced topics of the hobby.

Condense the Information – Content is what people want outside of products related to your hobby. They want to read tutorials, see reviews, and talk to you for guidance and just to chit-chat because it’s something they love to do (or want to explore). Try to create content a few times a week. Content will be indexed by search engines which will help you show up when others search for that topic. Content also gives you something to share on your social media accounts which will get the discussion going and give you opportunities to plug product recommendations or sell services/information.

Play with Others – You may want to think business is about cutting out the competition but hobbies are about meeting others that share your interest so it’s good to play with others. You should take part of your day to reach out to other sellers and individuals that are passionate about your hobby so you can build a connection and create a great network. By working together you can progress the hobby as a whole, refer customers to another, and aid with the overall promotion of the hobby which makes for a larger marketplace for everyone!

Now obviously this is a very condensed version of how you’d get started but it does cover the basics that will start the journey. There will be smaller objectives and hurdles you’ll need to overcome but once you get the platform together, you begin marketing your offer, and connect with the right marketplace (to which you already know of) you’re in business.

So the question isn’t how to get started … it’s: when will you start?


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Burial insurance is a type of policy you may not have considered before. It’s designed to cover the final expenses of a burial. Seniors may think that they’re too old to really get any benefit from a policy like this, but that’s not the case. Some companies even special in senior life insurance. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why seniors should give serious consideration to burial insurance.

Comprehensive Funeral Cover

Basic burial insurance may just cover the actual cost of burial. But a comprehensive funeral insurance policy will cover everything relating to a funeral. This may include everything from the church to the actual burial itself.

Seniors Can Make Savings

Life insurance policies require you to pay into a policy for a long time in order to claim any real benefits. Burial insurance is about pre-paying for your death expenses. You can’t invest any of the money and there are no lump sum payoffs involved. The reality is this is going to help you save money because you’re paying for your funeral while you still have income from any other investments, along with social security.

Protections in Place

If you’re worried about dying before an adequate period of time has passed, insurance providers already have facilities in place. If you die before two years have elapsed (this could be more or less), your family will receive the premiums paid into the policy rather than death benefits. This means there’s no risk to you.

The Terminally Ill

You’re never too old or too sick to take out one of these policies. Insurers have seen the need for seniors in these groups to have adequate coverage. It’s possible to take out coverage even if you happen to have a terminal illness. The premiums will be higher and your choices more limited, but you can still have a good level of coverage.

Protect Your Inheritance

Since your insurance policy will cover the costs of your burial, you won’t have to worry about what you have to give to your children and grandchildren. Many seniors have used a burial insurance policy to protect as much of their inheritance as they possibly can.

Peace of Mind

Peace of mind is important for anyone who’s considering the amount of money their funeral is going to cost. Stop worrying about it by taking out a burial insurance policy today. Now you know your family isn’t going to have to pay anything when you die!

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We all love Christmas time, but we all are not very happy about the fact that it costs tons of money too. But some people, who are the real masters of budget stretching, made some pretty useful tips you can use as well to make this holiday season a lot cheaper. And bellow I am going to share my personal favorite five of them!

Buy family gifts

One of the first things you can do to save money this holiday season is to start buying presents not for each member of the family, but for the whole. For example, buy tickets to the theater or concert rather than buy each and every child and parent a separate gift. In fact, this way you hit at least two spots – firstly let that family spend some time altogether, and save big time because that is usually a lot cheaper than buying separate gifts and wrapping it all out.

Alternative wrapping

You can also save a lot if you choose to wrap your presents in everything else that is not gift wrapping paper. Clothing materials, newspapers, magazines or even your child’s drawings can be quite a perfect way to wrap a gift. And the best part is that it won’t cost you money at all! Gift wrapping paper is so unuseful because it all will be ripped and thrown away in a second. So you are spending money on trash. Don’t do that and use materials easy to find at home to wrap your gift in a truly unique way.

Hit e-stores

Shopping online during the holiday season is a dream come true. There are no rows in stores; the assortment is always full, and the pricing is also like a cherry on top of the cake. Moreover, even the most expensive stores tend to host massive holiday sales you can use to get your selected gifts cheaper. Combined with some only online deals (like these coupons for JCPenney!), you can make holiday shopping even more inexpensive and pleasurable. So definitely go out and try shopping online. You can always find something special and one of a kind on the web and at an incredible price too.


Make priorities

I know it would be nice to gift something for all your co-workers, but that also means huge spendings as well. So maybe stick to only your closest friends and family members and pamper them with better value gifts? Getting tons of small and cheap gifts means nothing but the gesture, and some people don’t even consider that as gifts too. Better sort your budget in the way that only the most important people in your life will get presents. So you can spend a little bit more on their gifts and make them even more special!

Skip unnecessary traditions

And by that I totally mean Christmas cards! It is a great tradition showing good manners and gestures, but that is so pricey and so unneeded! Some people throw away those holiday cards as soon as they get it while some put them somewhere in the back of their closet and never look at them ever again. So why spend so much on something so unnecessary? On the other hand, if you just can’t deal with the fact that this is such expensive tradition, make those cards by yourself. Or ask your kids to contribute. It won’t cost you anything, and it will be a nice and budget friendly way to show good manners during Christmas.


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