Exploit The Benefits Of The Private Student Loan How Business Owners Can Choose A Credit Card Topps To Be Acquired By Eisner And Others Employee Stock Options What You Need To Know Year End Tax Tips For Home Businesses

There is a distinction between private student loans and federal student loans in the sense that federal loans are guaranteed by the Federal Government. They present numerous striking stipulations like very affordable interest rates, postponed repayment, subsidized interest payment including extended repayment stipulations.

However, private student loans can be obtained from banks, credit unions including other financial institutions, and are based not on fiscal need, but on credit history including ability to pay off of the borrower.

The private student loan may well work as an additional source to federal loan programs and may well be meant for lots of diverse educational purposes for example education, books, living expenses including computers. Interest rates as well as payment stipulations will vary from lender to lender as well as being based on the credit rating of the borrower.

Now and then, it is additionally possible for a co-signer to be given a private loan, though it is not necessary, mainly if the student has a satisfactory creditworthiness, is employed full time and is a citizen of the USA or permanent resident. In case the student fails to comply with minimum eligibility requirements they may well request a private student loan with a co-signer who does meet those requirements.

The interest rate percentages for a private student loan can differ in keeping with the special goal of the loan, and for private loans for undergraduates; the percentage of interest would be 4.65 percent above LIBOR.

With college expenditure steadily escalating and the number of people ahead of you for federal loans similarly rising, it is not surprising that private Student loans are fast becoming the most rapid increasing source of funds for U.S. college education.

Many families find in the private student loan, a suitable including simple means of getting the capital necessary to cover off college education costs. Submitting and application for a private student loan is very efficient and the entire process can be completed in as little as 15 minutes.

Alternative or private student loans generally obtain their funding from private financial institutions and are not subject to Federal instructions.

The cash obtained in this manner can be used to pay for education expenses as well as many other costs related to education.

Private student loans can often be used to complement the federal student loans, especially when federal student loan funds fail in meeting the final cost of education.

Small business owners now have a wide variety of credit cards to choose from, and it makes it difficult to choose the best one for your small business. As a small business owner, you will need to decide which features you think that the company will use most often, and if they are worth using and having, before applying to a card. Many of the credit card companies now offer many attractive tools that can and will help each small business owner in their everyday spending and tracking. Also remember that it is harder to keep getting credit cards after the first couple, so choose wisely when choosing business credit cards.

Should you pick a business card that offers rewards or miles?

If you have no problem paying off the credit card debit each time the statement comes in, then the point rewards or cash back is the way to go for you. With the cash back and rewards credit cards, they give you rewards for spending money on everyday business needs, which is money you are going to spend anyway, so why not be rewarded for it. Another option to consider when choosing a credit card is the travel reward and miles credit cards. Do you or someone in your company travel on a regular basis? Then a travel reward or miles reward card is the type of card you might want to use. Most of the popular airlines have now teamed up with the credit card companies to bring business owners a reward for traveling for business purposes.

Should I get help tracking and reporting your expenses?

Most credit cards that are geared for the small business and even for larger businesses now, have a feature that is attractive in more than one way. The credit card companies can now track the categories that money is being spent on every month, and they can also provide a quarterly or annual spending report. This comes in handy during tax time. If you plan to use the same credit card for all of your expenses, this may be a great option for you.

Do members of your staff need to have access to a credit card?

Most of the credit card companies that offer cards to small businesses have a feature that allows employees of the business to also carry a credit card. This feature helps the business owner and the employee. When the employee travels now, they have the business with them to back them up in case anything should come up. Employees now can keep track of their spending for business related purposes a lot more efficiently now. The credit card companies can also track the credit card expenses separately so there is no confusion over who spent what. Not to mention the reimbursement paper work and waiting will now be eliminated. The credit card companies also allow the owner to set the amount of funds that are available to each card.

Small business owners also need to watch out for credit cards and the rates they charge with balance transfers and also with the APRs. This can be a great asset to a small business owner. Zero percent interest on balance transfers seems to be the going rate right now, and makes it nice to have an interest free loan for a little while, but beware! If you miss one payment you will lose that nice 0% APR and will have to pay the full rate.

Credit cards have changed so much over the years. They are very helpful to the business owners and their employees. Most credit card companies have now done away with the yearly fees that used to be associated with owning a credit card. So, if you are a business owner that pays the balance every month, these are the types of cards you need to apply for.

On March 6, 2007, Topps (TOPP) announced it agreed to be acquired for $9.75 per share in cash in a transaction valued at $385.4 million. The maker of trading cards and confections (Ring Pop, Push Pop, Bazooka gum, etc.) will be acquired by the Tornante Company and Madison Dearborn Partners. The Tornante Company was founded in 2005 by Michael Eisner – it is privately held.

Topps was founded in 1938. Although it was always a chewing gum company, Topps didn’t start selling the products it would become best known for until after the war. Following World War II, the company developed Bazooka Bubble Gum. In 1951, Topps added baseball cards.

The company had annual sales of $298.84 million in fiscal 2006. Topps derives roughly half of its total revenue from each of its two business segments – 49.1% from confections and 50.9% from entertainment.

Total sales have been stagnant for some time now. Sales actually declined slightly during 2005 and 2006. Although sales have grown over the last twelve months (to over $300 million), the company is still far short of the $439.3 million in net sales it registered six years ago.

That recent high water mark was set during the height of the Pokemon craze in 2000 – when those little Japanese monsters brought in $179.6 million (or 40.88%) of Topps’ $439.3 million in total sales. In a single year Pokemon sales plummeted by $155.5 million or 86.58%.

Here it seems right to add (with apologies to Matthew) that all those who live by the fad die by the fad.

As you might expect, Topps had dealings with Disney (DIS) during Eisner’s reign. Whether this previous experience played any part in Eisner’s decision to invest is anybody’s guess. In the press release announcing the deal, Eisner said only this:

“Topps is a wonderful company with a powerful brand portfolio and a rich history. Topps’ management team and employees are the best in the business, and we look forward to working with all of them to grow the company in new and exciting ways.”

According to the press release, Lehman Brothers served as sole financial advisor to Topps. In February of 2005, the board of Topps “authorized the company to pursue, with the assistance of Lehman Brothers, a sale of the candy business, believing such a step might provide value for the stockholders, in light of recent industry transactions at attractive multiples.”

It seems Lehman did one better.

Stock options are the most well-known form of long-term compensation motivations for executives in leading companies. Because of this, stock options are currently being provided to a lot of employees in many companies. Here are some things you need to know about stock options.

1) Stock options are appropriate for: small companies where growth is anticipated, and publicly-owned companies that want to provide company ownership to its employees.

2) Stock options are still popular. This is according to the National Center for Employee Ownership who reported that there are 9 million employees who participate in approximately 4,000 plans. This is in comparison to the 1 million participants a decade ago.

3) More and more companies are offering stock options to rank and file employees in addition to the executive suite. In the current environment where top talents matter a lot, offering stock options have become an effective way of luring efficient employees.

4) When implementing stock options, consider the following:

Someone recently asked me what they could do now to make tax time easier for this upcoming tax season.

The best thing you can do is to think about taxes before then year ends. Most people wait until the tax filing deadline before they ask how they can reduce their income taxes. Unfortunately, once 2007 ends, there’s very little you can do to minimize your taxes for 2007.

To start your tax planning, you should review your income, deductions and withholdings before the year ends. Which means you need to get your bookkeeping caught up! You should use a software program, such as QuickBooks, Quicken Home and Business, or spreadsheets to keep track of your income and expenses for your business.

Once you’re bookkeeping is caught up… do you expect your home business to have a profit or a loss this year?

If you have a profit, here are some tax planning tips to help minimize your home business taxes this year:

1. Defer your income. If you have a home based business and it looks like you’ll have a good profit this year, consider invoicing your clients in January instead of December, to defer the income to next year. Or, just wait until the end of December to send invoices. Any money you receive in January will go on your 2008 tax return, not 2007.

2. Accelerate expenses. Do you need to purchase any inventory? What about supplies? Does your computer need to be replaced? If you’ve got a profit for 2007, consider purchasing inventory, supplies or other items that will need to be replaced soon this year to reduce your taxable profit.

In addition, if you itemize your tax deductions, make sure you pay all mortgage payments, property tax, medical expenses, etc. this year, even if they aren’t due ’till next year, to help increase your tax deductions for this year.

3. Contribute the maximum amount to retirement plans. As a home based business owner, you have several retirement plans to choose from. You can setup a traditional IRA, a SEP IRA, a Simple IRA, or even a 401K. The maximum contribution amounts vary based on the retirement plan, but these plans allow contributions from $4,000 up to $44,000 per year. Contributing to a retirement plan is a great way to maximize your retirement savings and to minimize your taxes at the same time.

4. Give to charity. Although charitable donations don’t reduce your business income, they do reduce your taxable income if you itemize your deductions. Gifts of cash or goods are a great way to help reduce your tax bill this year.

On the flip side, if you expect a larger profit next year, or if you expect to jump into a higher tax bracket next year, it’s best to report as much income this year, and to defer as many expenses as possible ’till next year.

Either way, year end tax planning can really help minimize your taxes. But you have to make it a point to review your taxes before the year ends. Once 2007 is gone, so are your tax planning opportunities for 2007.

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