Going to court is never a fun experience. Unfortunately, it may become necessary for you to sue someone so you can get justice because you feel that you have been wronged. You could also be sued by someone and you will need to defend yourself in court. You can never predict how a jury will vote. Therefore, you need to do everything you possibly can to convince a jury that you are in the right. This is not always an easy thing to do. However, using an expert witness to testify for you will definitely help your case dramatically. Here is how an expert witness can help you in court.
1. Impress the jury
Expert witness testimony is something that has the power to swing a case in your favor that you were previously losing. This is because the jury will take notice of the facts the witness provides that back up your argument. It sometimes only takes a few minutes of testimony from an expert witness to get the jury to come around to your way of thinking. However, it is important that you watch videos of an expert witness testifying in previous cases to make sure that he speaks well in court. An expert witness might know a lot of important things. However, he or she might sabotage your case if they start stammering when they are on the witness stand.
2. You will become more credible
Credibility is key in any type of court case where a jury is involved. Basically, the jury will be asking themselves why they should believe anything you are saying. An expert witness is someone who has worked many years in a specific field in order to gain the reputation of an expert. Therefore, a person like this supporting your claims will instantly turn you into a credible person in the eyes of the jury. Keep in mind that a person cannot simply claim to be an expert in a particular field. The court must approve of a person’s status as an expert based on his or her career and prior work.
3. An expert witness is difficult to dispute
A witness is considered to be an expert in a certain field for a very good reason. This person has worked in a certain field for many years. This makes it nearly impossible for the opposing attorney to dispute anything an expert witness says.
As a child, you may have had a simple savings account that accrued a little interest over the months. When you’re an adult, however, saving money for retirement and education are critical parts to life. Many people are confused or intimidated by the investing process, but there are easy ways to start your own nest egg. Take a look at these smart investment strategies and choose a few that work for your situation.
Start a 401(k)
Most employers offer some type of investment account, such as the traditional 401(k). You may look at these accounts as optional, but they should be considered mandatory for a comfortable retirement. Contribute as much of your paycheck to the 401(k) as possible because you’ll gain high returns over the years. You’ll also reduce your reported income too. When income taxes are due, you’ll pay less because of the 401(k) contributions.
Determine Employer Matches
Another major reason to use 401(k)s is the possible employer-match amount. For example, your company matches your contribution percentage up to 6 percent. Ideally, you should contribute no less than 6 percent to the 401(k) because you’ll miss out on the employer’s full payment amount. These contributions are part of your salary that makes saving for retirement even easier than ever before.
Contribute to IRAs
Another investment strategy involves IRAs or individual retirement accounts. There are several IRA types, including an education-based one or traditional retirement. In fact, you can have several accounts and contribute to each one. You can save for retirement and your children’s education at the same time. This strategy also reduces your income level as reported on your taxes.
Avoid Early Withdrawals
Your 401(k) or IRA may have thousands of dollars after a few years, but don’t be tempted to take out these funds. Early withdrawals only increase your tax liability and reduce your overall retirement amounts. Extreme financial emergencies should be the only reason when you take money out of these accounts. In the end, they’re exclusively meant for retirement and education needs.
Research established and new investment strategies as you gain more experience with your money. You might read about Sharia complaint investments or monetary options at your bank. In the end, you want a stable investment strategy that builds wealth over the years. Your retirement will be entirely enjoyable with ample funds supporting your lifestyle.
Nowadays, many people are interested in starting their own home-based business and make good amount of money. Normally, a person will work two to three professions in his work life. People who leave their career behind tend to start their own business at home.
Many people who have been a part of conventional labor force are on the brink of retiring from that routine and now they have their plans open about which direction to go for in the near future. Fortunately, anyone can start a business from home and feel the adventure. Below are some good examples of home based businesses you can start on your own.
Home repair service: Many homes usually face the common problems of dripping sinks, back logged water drains, broken appliances and a variety of other problems. Many of us don’t have the time or knowledge about how to deal with these problems. If you are an expert with your hands and have a good amount of knowledge on home repair, then you can start this business of home repair services. And to get more clients, you can charge less from the professionals in your area. Your target will be on how to save more money for people. The more you save for them; you will keep getting new clients. To start with, you need to have a good set of resources and a large vehicle for transferring your equipment.
Organizational Specialist: Sometimes you will notice messes and clutter in many houses and firms. If you feel interested, then you can start your own business as an organizer. There are many books available on arranging things properly and how to keep things in place to get more free space out of it.
Collect materials about this job niche: To get started, you can practice this skill on your friends and family for a little fee, and once you get your knowledge and experience, you can sell your skills to other people. Make sure that you get some good testimonials from your friends and families whom you have helped. You can also buy and mark up prepared good, or get in touch with craftsmen, to set up closet organizers, racks, and other furnishings.
Online content creator: there are many companies who have their business online and they are always in the need of new articles and blog posts for their websites. As a content writer, you can write up articles or posts for their websites, bringing up professionalism, trust or creativeness.
Web designer: web designers are needed for website development services. If you are experienced in this industry, you can offer it as a standalone service. It is important to have a collection of all your works as a web designer so that you can show it to your clients and advertise your services.
Flea market sales: flea markets are just like a garage sale. If you enjoy garage sales, you can consider it as a business. You can market many items such as crafts or merchandise for resale. There are many marketplaces where you can sell your skills like car detailing or antique restoration.
These are just a few examples of the many home based businesses that you can easily start sitting at the comfort of your home.
Your employees are more than just members of your payroll: They are also one of your company’s best assets. When you do all that you can to help your employees thrive, you will both benefit. You don’t necessarily have to invest a large quantity of money to do this, but you do have to make a conscious effort to help your employees be their best.
Seek Honest Feedback
It’s difficult to help your employees thrive if you haven’t gained a full understanding about what is holding them back. No business is perfect, and seeking honest feedback from your employees is a great way to find areas that need improvement.
In order for employees to provide candid feedback, they need to feel safe. In most cases, employees feel more comfortable providing feedback in an anonymous manner. Print a short survey to distribute to employees, or create an old-fashioned suggestions box to place in the office.
Invest in Training
Once you know which areas need improvement, you can work on making strides in these areas. In many cases, the proper training can relieve a lot of the stress from your employees. Investing in software is great, but you won’t be able to take full advantage of the new program if you haven’t also invested in Sage 100 training.
Training sessions don’t have to be full-day events that keep everyone away from their regular duties. Instead, look for ways to scatter shorter training sessions throughout your schedule. Host a lunch meeting where you bring in a customer service expert, or take an hour on Friday afternoon to have a refresher on email etiquette.
Few things in life are more motivating than positive feedback. Instead of harping on all that your employees are doing wrong, make the choice to recognize excellence. Employees who feel that they are appreciated will work harder and gain a sense of loyalty to your business.
Bonuses are always a great way to reward excellence, but you don’t have to abandon this idea if you are short on funds. Instead, think of other ways to reward great employees. Give the gift of an extra vacation day, give the employee a temporary break from one of her duties, or simply give positive feedback in front of other people at your next staff meeting. You might be surprised how a culture of positivity changes the attitude of your staff members.
Life is just not just about big dreams, high end luxuries and expensive comforts. Amidst your hectic schedule and working hard to make your both ends meet, you may often forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. These pleasures, though may seem trivial or frivolous in nature, can bring immense satisfaction to you. They are called the finer joys of life.
Ever wondered about the finer joys of your life? Well, here is a small list:
- Looking at the joy on your child’s face when you take them for their dance class
- Dropping your wife for Zumba classesen route to your office.
- Pursuing that long-cherished hobby of learning to play the guitar.
- Watching your favourite singer performing live in a concert.
This list can be endless. You have an earnest desire to live these finer joys, but then there is the other side of the coin which calls for being practical to make them come true. You need to make time to do these little things you want to do as well as manage your finances to spend about the same.
Managing your time is relatively easier. You could start waking 15 minutes earlier every morning. Or you could limit your screen or digital media hours. You can even set aside a dedicated hour of the day for ‘me time’ and ‘family time’.
But, what about the money part? This requires a conscious and systematic planning at your end. Here is what you could do to achieve the finer joys in your life without worrying much about the finances.
- Make a Budget
Write down income and expenses (better, if maintained in an excel sheet). Review once in a fortnight or a month. Analyze the reasons if you have exceeded the budget on some counts. Try and live within the budget.
- Save Smartly
You should aim to save at least 15 – 30% of your income to meet the key milestones of your life – child’s education & marriage, own home, retirement, etc. Keep a long term perspective and allocate your savings to a diversified portfolio comprising fixed income securities, equity funds and insurance plans (life, health and non – life) for a better risk-return trade-off. Also, keep an emergency fund, equivalent to your 3 – 6 months, aside to meet unforeseen expenses. Similarly, you should allocate a part of your income towards the expenses that you will need to incur on the finer joys of life. This way, you and your family can enjoy the small pleasures of life without creating an additional burden on your budget.
- Invest in a Money-back Policy
The finer joys can occur at different stages of your life. To be able to enjoy them as and when the time comes, you need money at periodic intervals. Rather than juggling your finances impulsively in future for such things, it is better to plan for regular payouts ahead of time. A money-back planis quite suitable with this regards. It gives a guaranteed income flow at fixed stages during the policy term, so that you have the money when you need it the most. You could plan the payouts as and when you desire to fund the finer joys of your life. With a money-back plan in your investment kitty, you have an additional source of income in hand and you can glide through your recurring financial commitments smoothly.
If you plan your time and finances well, you need not forget, sacrifice or postpone those finer dreams in your life. Start planning today, your little joys are waiting to unfold!
Employees of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have been staging impromptu strikes since September in an effort to make their dissatisfaction known with the bank’s treatment of them. Workers have been staging periodic walk-outs as a response to the bank’s refusal to improve pension plans and other grievances.
- Retirement Benefits Eroded By Inflation
The latest mass walk-out occurred on November 19, when 17,000 workers staged a protest to protest what they see as crippling actions by the bank’s management in New Delhi. RBI employees claim the bank has done little to account for cost of living increases pensioners face, which is forcing many of them to live in poverty. The United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees, which oversees the four unions that represent RBI workers plans to continue to stage “casual leave” walk-outs until the bank agrees to meet their “reasonable demands” for improved pension plans.
Published reports claim that workers are attempting to obtain a “one-rank, one-pension scheme” which would level the playing field in terms of the distribution of retirement benefits. The government promised to implement this system in August, 2015, but so far has not done so. Moreover, employees are concerned that the RBI now has less autonomy than it once did.
- Monetary Policy Committee Has Been Proposed
There is concern that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attempting to curtail the RBI’s independence by creating a Monetary Policy Committee that will set interest rates and make other decisions officers of the bank once made on their own. Central bank governor, Raghuram Rajan supports this decision, but the committee’s exact functions have yet to be determined.
The government is concerned about the country’s economy since the RBI chose to lower interest rates four times during 2015 to compensate for a struggling economy that is suffering because of low commodities prices. Despite the lower cost of goods, employees claim they can no longer pay for things like medical expenses, or obtain housing loans. They are pushing for the bank to increase benefits, rather than keep the status quo.
- More Strikes Will Be Staged In December
So far the strikes have been restricted to selected locations, but the United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees is planning to stage a nationwide walk-out on December 2. That strike is scheduled to last for two days, but some believe the actions could go on indefinitely if the demands of the employees are not met.
There will be more localized action leading up to the larger strike, and employees are planning to dig in until the bank decides it will negotiate with the union. So far bank officers have been reluctant to negotiate, but in light of a nationwide walk-out, their opinion might change. Bank customers are advised to pay attention to news reports to stay informed about local and national walk-outs.
A successful business owner knows that they must focus their resources on their core competencies if they want to grow their business. For example, a wood pallet manufacturer would outsource their accounting services because hiring full-time accountants takes money away from making pallets. Within your own business, there are quality control functions you can outsource to professional organizations that will give you the best possible results, and help to save money at the same time.
While it is not unusual for a manufacturing company to make its own packaging, it is a waste of resources to hire a staff of engineers designed to monitor those packaging services. You can outsource those services to a professional organization that knows all of the latest government laws regarding packaging, and can offer guidance on developing specialty packaging for hazardous or delicate materials.
Business Process Monitoring
Many companies hire business process experts that have advanced computer degrees and a comprehensive understanding of statistics. All of the functions of a business process monitor are essential to the success of any business, but those functions can also be done just as efficiently by a professional outsourcing organization. You can have your processes analyzed and suggestions for improvements made as efficiently by an outsourcing organization as you can from any in-house department.
Facility Energy Efficiency
When it comes to the energy efficiency of a commercial facility, many managers simply rely on the maintenance crew to keep things under control. Despite the maintenance staff’s best efforts, a lot of money is wasted every year due to inefficient systems and equipment the company uses each day. The solution is to bring in an independent energy auditor every year to help improve efficiency, and reduce the costs of operations. While you would not be replacing any of you current staff, you will be making an investment that will save your company money every year.
When you utilize the right kind of outsourcing professionals, then you are able to focus on the things that your company does best. Bringing experts will save you money in administrative costs, and it will also save you money in ongoing operational costs. When you can get expert service for a fraction of the cost of hiring your own expert staff, then that is something you should be taking advantage of.
Diversification is a core investment principal. The old saw that there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots can be applied to traders. Other than stocks, what are other effective ways of making money? Bonds, commodities, cash? These instruments do not seem to be much appetizing at the moment.
Alternative investments can be the best and worst of investments. This is the zone where an offer of a piece of Brazilian jungle, carbon credits or funky real estate can lead investors astray.
One of the best classes of alternative investment is numismatic coins. They have the following benefits:
Low correlation to other assets: Numismatic coins have kept up a 7% annual compound rate of growth for as long as you care to look back. A coin that was $100 in the past during depression is now $20000. There is no asset that is free of correlation but the main correlation for numismatics is general money supply with an underlying link with fear. During the credit crunch when people were pulling their cash from British banks, coin dealers were as busy as the vendors of safes.
Inflation hedge: Coins are very helpful in beating inflation. A Triple Unite from 1646 that was about $10000 to its original owner is now worth anywhere between $80000 to $150000. This is about 3% above the rate of inflation over the last 368 years. Inflation is an increasingly mysterious number. Many people believe that their grocery bills and the constant rise in price do not match the stated inflation numbers. The prices of the hard assets are always going up. This is counterbalanced by a mixture of “soft assets” deflation, questionable statistics and agricultural subsidies.
High portability: Unlike dollar bills, many are not trained to sniff out collectible coins. You can put a multimillion dollar collection in your pocket and go away. Some people believe that bullets are a great alternative investment.
A global market with auctions: Alternative investments tend to be illiquid, just like coins. You can sell the items quickly to a dealer, but the bid/offer on that isn’t too great. Coins are for the investors who are patient and an auction is a solid venue for them.
Coins have a great history of being valuable assets: Coins have a good track record of being desirable assets. They have been collected by popes and emperors, and have been a pastime of the rich for centuries. They provide a good demand in the resale market.
Numismatics is not the only collectible with good investment and diversification attributes. You will find them in the form of stamps, banknotes and many other obscure and/or fascinating genres like film posters, toys, china and other art virtue. Almost everyone has the same reasons to collect coins. If you put all your financial eggs in one investment basket, your probability of loss is concentrated. Collecting is a fine way of spreading your investment risk.
The figures surrounding the PPI scandal are already staggering. What’s arguably more staggering is that many thousands of people still haven’t claimed what they’re owed. The total amount paid out since January 2011 has already gone well beyond £21 billion.
By the time the whole mess is tied off, it’s estimated the total bill will be closer to £35 billion.
That goes to show that while many people have got their money back, a great deal more still haven’t.
One reason so many people still haven’t claimed is simply because they don’t know they have a claim. One way that PPI was routinely mis-sold was to add it on to the finance agreement without the customer’s knowledge.
When that happened, the customer was unknowingly paying out for the product month after month. They believed each repayment was purely for the loan or finance agreement when in fact a portion of it was repaying the PPI as well.
The team over at http://ppiclaimsandadvice.com have been helping many people get back money they didn’t even realise they were owed. For some people, that refund
has been in the tens-of-thousands of pounds.
With a deadline for claiming imminent, it’s important you double check your records to make sure you aren’t due a refund too. Once the deadline hits, there’ll be no route for recourse after that.
Uncovering Hidden PPI
It’s quite normal to discard old paperwork when the finance agreement has run its course. So how can you find hidden PPI if you no longer have your records?
One way is to run a credit check on yourself. A credit check will pull up your financial history, showing you what loans and finance agreements you’ve had in the past and with which lenders.
There are a number of firms that offer such a service. One well know firm is Credit Expert, owned by Experian. They offer a free trial period to use the service, after which there’s a monthly fee (cancel the trial before it ends and you won’t have to pay).
Another similar service is by Noddle, which is free all the time.
Sign up for the service, follow the instructions and download your report. Print it out if you have a printer and then go through it — carefully, of course — to locate any PPI you weren’t aware of, or which you’d forgotten about.
PPI often went by other names, hence the reason for going through the report carefully. It may have been sold as ASU or something similar. Whatever name it’s listed under, if you find instances of PPI that are a surprise to you, then it was almost certainly mis-sold and you should be due a refund.
No Account Numbers or Paperwork
There’s much debate about whether you should claim PPI by yourself or have a PPI claim company do it for you. As with many things in life, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. It’s largely a personal choice based on your own circumstances.
One area where it can make more sense to use a company rather than handling it alone is if you no longer have your paperwork and/or account numbers. Some companies, like the one mentioned at the top of the article, have negotiated special agreements with many of the main banks and lenders.
These agreements allow them to get claims started without account numbers and without paperwork. It’s an agreement specific to some companies and isn’t available to individuals claiming by themselves. For many people, this not only makes a slow and laborious process quicker, but it’s also far less stressful.
Whichever way you decide to claim your money back, just make sure you do it soon. Once the deadline is official, the clock will be ticking and it will count down to zero much quicker than you probably realise.