Sep 122011

It’s always an interesting exercise to explore some of the lesser known, but still important, aspects of the financial world.  There is, upon some research and due diligence, a firm or group that specializes in just about any particular field of finance and investments. We spend some time here at PF Journal looking for ways to save money, invest, reduce debt, find a good home loan, and other pertinent personal finance matters, but we also occasionally look at these specialty firms and niches to explore the various aspects that make up our financial world.

If you’re in the chemicals, materials or a related sector and are searching for banking services, specifically chemical mergers and acquisitions assistance, you definitely want to work with a firm that has significant expertise and experience in that field. Fortunately, The Valence Group is an investment bank that specializes in chemicals and has a core team that has a collective 150 years of experience in investments and within chemical companies.

Obviously, making important decisions requires proper knowledge and years and years of focus on a specific sector. Chemical investment banking is a very specialized area of finance and a banker working in a generalist firm might not be properly knowledgeable with the issues that factor into this world. Yes, they might do other merger and acquisition work and have an understanding of joint ventures, LBOs, public offers and so forth, but there are particulars that are easily overlooked.  These might range from issues like environmental liabilities, regulatory constraints, operational carve-outs and specific chemical sub sectors that might feature in a deal which The Valence Group would be equipped to competently handle.

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Jun 262009

This has not been the best time to earn some good interest on your money. If you are trying to keep your money in low interest investments or accounts, you really don’t stand much to gain. Most online savings accounts are running around the 1.5% APY mark, and the best you can expect from a shorter-term CD (ie 6 months to a year) is around the 2.0% range. You can stretch that interest rate out to around 3 – 3.5% if you’re willing to tie your money up for 5 years, but that is probably not a wise move at these low rates. I mean, really, interest rates have nowhere else to go but up at this point.

So, what options do you have right now?

Well, John Waggoner over at USA Today suggests looking into municipal bond funds if you’re willing to risk a little bit more. Currently, you can get around 3.5% yield, which isn’t really that great, but beggars can’t be choosers. As Waggoner puts it, “muni rates are higher than usual. A 10-year, high-grade muni now yields 3.54%. Someone in the 28% tax bracket would have to earn 4.92% in a taxable bond to get 3.55% after taxes.”

This might be a good option for someone looking for a slightly better yield that a CD or money market account though the risk of loss begins to creep into the picture.

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Nov 262008

We’ve seen the government step up and bailout a slew of companies and their most recent endeavor, the bailout of Citigroup, might just be hitting closer to home than the previous few.  The question, however, is how that might be affecting your own finances.  This is especially true for those of you who have a bank account with Citibank.

As Gerri Willis over at CNN/Money reports, “the government is guaranteeing some of Citigroup’s bad investments and injecting another $20 billion on top of the $25 billion it’s already put into the company from the $700 billion bailout passed by Congress last month.”  This means you’ll see no real changes to your checking account, but you might want to verify your FDIC-coverage limits.  The limits are now $250,000 for a single account, or for joint account, $250,000 per account owner.

A change you might see, however, is a rise in interest rates on Citi’s credit cards as well as an increase in banking fees. Willis reports that Citi is going to raise interest rates on about 20% of its 54 million credit card holders by 2-3%.  And fees for such items such as ATM charges and bounces checks are going up across the board at all banks, not just Citibank.

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Jun 172008

If you are a college student who has been hunting around for student loan programs to help you consolidate your loans you’ve no doubt been finding a lot of confusing information. At Student Loan Dir you’ll be able to not only learn a ton of information about student loans and the assorted loan consolidation programs you have available, but you can also use their handy loan finder to nail down the best deals on a program that fits your needs.

The benefit of a student loan consolidation is that it will allow you to merge your student loans into one, relying on a single lender. You can then simply focus on one payment at the lowest rate available. Using the easy to use loan finder at Student Loan Dir you can enter your information one time and let many different lenders compete in order to provide the loan that fits your needs at a rate that is most affordable. You’ll likely decrease your overall monthly payment, lock in a great new rate and have all your loan information under one roof.

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Dec 202007

I was talking with a friend the other day who had bought a car a couple of months ago, seemingly on an impulse, and was now paying a pretty bad interest rate on his auto loan. I’m sure this problem has happened to more than a few people just like this. The dealership will wiggle around so that you can afford the car you want but you end up getting a bad loan.

If you’re in a similar situation, you might consider an Auto Refinance. Depending on your particular situation, you can save a load of money over the life of a car loan with a better interest rate. It’s also a good time to change the terms of your loan, whether it’s changing the length of the loan or dropping the co-applicant. is a great place to look for an auto refinance as well as get some much needed information on the basics of auto financing.

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Oct 192007

If you currently own a business or are thinking of starting a new one, then you’re probably in a position where capital is in short supply. An unsecured business loan is really a great way to handle some of the short term costs you occasionally face or it could actually provide your business with the financial flexibility to grow and prosper. This money can be just the catalyst to get you going and grab the opportunities you need to move to the next level. An unsecured business loan can be the quick and convenient solution you’re looking for and it has the advantage that no home or assets are required.

If you’ve been hunting around for an unsecured business loan, then you might want to check out They offer a quick and easy application process and you’ll receive approval within 48 hours if you meet the credit requirements. Following approval, you can expect to obtain your funds in as little as 3 days. If you’re trying to focus on your business then you certainly don’t have time to mess around with unnecessary hassles and lengthy waits. Once you receive your funds, you’re free to use them however you want for your business, allowing you the freedom and capital to best make your business a success.

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Oct 082007

There’s many types of business loans out there and the hunt for the right one can be a daunting task for a business owner. An established business owner looking to obtain an Unsecured Line Of Credit would do well to try With this site, you can obtain financing for your business of up to $750,000. The site is also a nice source of information if you’re not really sure what type of credit you might need. They explain the possible uses for a line of credit for businesses as well as provide links to other sources where you can learn about and obtain a different types of loans such as a business startup loan or an unsecured personal loan.

If you choose to pursue an unsecured line of credit there are many different uses you may apply the money towards. For example, you can use this financing to pay off higher interest debt like a credit card balance, purchase some equipment or supplies that will help you keep you business running smoothly, or just about anything else related to your business. It’s really a great tool for meeting short term capital needs that might otherwise be difficult to cover when you’re short of funds.

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May 042007

Putting your money into an online savings account seems risky for the uneducated, but there is really no good reason these days to miss the competetive interest rates that online banks are offering. I recently opened up an account at Emigrant Direct and so far my experience has been very positive.

Although the interest rate has gone down a touch since I opened the account (from 5.15% APY to 5.05%) it still far surpasses the options I can obtain locally. My local credit union only give my .75% APY and most banks are lower than that unless you open a large account. Even a balance of higher than $100,000 will only get you about 4.0% APY at most banks now, and Emigrant Direct does not have a minimum balance requirement.

I was able to open and fund my account in a few days and began earning interest straight away. Although I am pretty happy with Emigrant’s service and interest rates, I have been thinking about moving some other money to another online bank. Currently E-loan is offering a 5.50% APY though they do require a $5,000 minimum. There are several others, however, that offer a better rate than Emigrant with a low minimum balance. You can get the most current information on

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Aug 232005

Somewhere when you least expected, you find the person who you know you are going to share your life with. You met that wonderful person. And it is a blessing that you are going to walk down the aisle with that person. You want to share it with everyone, everyone. And this one important day of your life has to be perfect in every respect of the word. 2.3 million weddings are taking place each year, but that doesn’t make your marriage just another figure in the statistics. Continue reading »

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Jul 282005

Title loans have the same features as a secured loan, except for a single aspect. While secured loans do not spell out the type of collateral that will suffice it, title loans specifically require cars or any other vehicle to act as collateral. Vehicles may be used to guarantee secured loans too. Secured car loans, for instance, offer borrowers money to help them purchase cars. In this case, either the new automobile or an older automobile may be used as collateral. Thus, secured car loans too may be termed as a title loan. Continue reading »

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Apr 132005

Getting low interest credit to finance your home or car, or to get a low interest credit card requires that you have good credit. Bad credit can disqualify you from many loans and from securing low interest rates.

It is important to find low interest when getting a credit card. Low interest credit cards can save you a lot of money over time. A great number of bankruptcies are declared each year because of overwhelming credit card debt. Low interest credit cards can help you avoid such a situation.

You can find low interest credit cards by shopping around. Conducting your search on the Internet can help you browse through the wide variety of credit card choices available.

You may have seen many advertisements for low interest credit on the TV or newspaper. Many of these offers require a person to have good credit. Sometimes low interest credit card advertisements may only state the introductory rate. The introductory rate is only applicable for a stated period of time and it will increase after the period has expired. Therefore it is important to find out what the long term APR is on any given credit card. The introductory rate can be as low as 0%.

Low interest credit cards can be great to transfer the balance from your old credit cards. This means you will end up paying a lot less interest on your balance. Make sure that your low interest credit card accepts transfers and find out if there is a transfer limit.

Low interest cards may not have many additional offers and rewards on purchases. Low interest credit cards are best for those people who normally carry over a balance each month.

Some low interest credit cards may offer a grace period of about a month. A grace period is a period of time for which you do not get any additional charges levied on if you fail to pay the bill.

When searching for low interest credit cards, it is also important to be aware of the fees associated with using the credit card. These fees can include annual fees, transfer fees, approval fees, etc.

If you have increased your credit score from the last time you got a credit card, you can apply for a new low interest credit card. A credit check can let you know if you are improving your credit score.

Low interest credit is also beneficial to financing your home, automobile and similar items. To get low interest car loans, it is beneficial to search online. Low interest home equity loans can substantially decrease your monthly payments. Find out your credit rating before you search for a loan. Next you can locate the average interest rates for people with similar ratings. This way you will know when you are getting a good deal.

If you have run up your debt to an unmanageable amount, you can seek debt reduction services to bring it under control. One way to reduce your debt by lowering your interest rates is to seek debt consolidation. Debt consolidation allows you to pay off your loans through one low interest credit loan.

A debt consolidation service can help you find low interest credit. Debt consolidation usually allows you to get a secured loan to finance your unsecured loans. A secured loan is a low interest credit loan since it is backed by collateral.

One way a debt consolidation service can help you is by re-mortgaging on your current home. Re-mortgaging includes finding low interest credit loans to substitute for your current mortgage. By getting this better deal, you will end up saving a lot of money on interest payments.

Guest Article by Jacob Jeling.

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Apr 032005

How online payday loans or cash advance loans work? Online payday loans usually work by first filling out a pre-approval application. 90% of the time, your credit is not pulled. Most payday loans are not based on your credit history, so, even if you have bad credit you are still welcome to apply. If having your credit pulled is a concern to you, check their FAQs page, that will usually tell you whether or not your credit will be pulled. Continue reading »

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