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What is free enterprise?


Free enterprise is a system of commerce in which individuals can form companies and buy and sell competitively in the marketplace without government interference.

What are the characteristics of a free enterprise system?

The ability to engage in economic activity in accordance with individual freedom is vital. Private property, economic freedom, economic incentives, competitive markets, and a limited role for government are the characteristics of a free enterprise system.

Private property means that individuals can own and make decisions about the use or sale of land, personal property, and other assets. Individuals control their own property rather than using or leasing property owned by the government.

Economic freedom is the freedom to pursue financial gain. This freedom includes the right to create a business, seek employment with a particular company, quit a job, invest as one sees fit, and engage in any other economic activity.

Economic incentives refer to the ability to make individual financial decisions. People can accept a job, quit a job, move to work in another state, choose a higher paying profession, decide what to buy, and more.

Everyone has their own personal preferences and goals. Some prefer a simple lifestyle, while others prefer luxury. Some like chocolate ice cream and some like strawberry ice cream. A competitive market provides consumers with alternatives rather than multiple copies of the same product. Businesses compete with each other to offer products and services that consumers want in a free enterprise system, rather than the government dictating what can and cannot be sold.

While the free enterprise system should not be subject to unnecessary government interference, this does not mean that it is free of government. Government still has a role in enforcing people’s individual rights to personal and property security. Government also enforces the rules of fair play in the economy by enforcing contracts and making sure that consumers are not cheated. In short, the government acts as an arbiter.

How does free enterprise work?

In a free enterprise economy, people engage in economic activity for personal gain. Some see a need, create a business to fulfill that need, others accept a job with the company, others buy the product.

Each stage depends on who is motivated to act and reap the rewards of their efforts. Competition to sell more products, earn the highest wages, and improve personal standards of living drives the activities of each individual involved in free enterprise.

Individual freedom is only tested in cases of disagreement, where the role of government should be that of an arbiter, resolving contract and property disputes to prevent one party from “cheating” to unfairly gain an advantage over another.

Does free enterprise help the rich or the poor?

In theory, the free enterprise system allows people of all economic classes to make their best economic choices without interference. A free enterprise system should not punish the poor or help the rich.

Whether or not the free market system is perfect is an important debate in politics and economics. Generally speaking, free market economies have much higher rates of economic growth, with higher levels of prosperity improving the standard of living for both rich and poor.

However, many believe that free markets lead to the exploitation of the poor by the rich. If a free enterprise system is not accompanied by strong consumer protection and a generous social safety net in terms of anti-poverty programs, it is often perceived as unjust.

Is free enterprise the same as the free market?

Free enterprise and free market are often used synonymously in everyday discussions.

However, there are differences. Simply put: free enterprise is the act of doing business in a free market, and free markets are the arena in which free enterprise takes place.

How does free enterprise differ from a command economy?

Free enterprise is more or less the opposite of a command economy . A command economy is completely controlled and owned by the government, as in communist and totalitarian countries such as Cuba and North Korea, while free enterprise relies on the private sector (private enterprises).

Theoretically, government control in a command economy is aimed at providing citizens with basic necessities. The reason should not be profit for the government or government officials. In practice, however, citizens are usually bypassed and officials become the economic elite.

Which countries have a free enterprise system?

As with free market economies, a free enterprise system in pure theoretical form is hard to find. However, many countries have some version of a free enterprise system. The United States is considered the best example of a free enterprise system, but other countries with some version of a free enterprise system include the United Kingdom, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada.

It should be noted that a democratic country does not automatically have a free enterprise system. Many democracies have significant government regulation of free enterprise.

What is rule 72?


The Rule of 72 is a formula for estimating the time it will take to double or lose half the value of your investment.

What is the rule of 72?

The Rule of 72 is a formula that can help you estimate the effect of exponential growth or exponential decline. This calculation is a simplified version of the original logarithmic formula. The Rule of 72 provides a rough estimate of the time it will take to double or halve an investment without the use of a scientific calculator or logarithmic tables. It’s worth remembering that the Rule of 72 doesn’t take into account any fees or taxes that affect your income if you’re calculating growth.

The formula for calculating the time period for doubling your investment using the Rule of 72 is as follows:

72/ Interest Rate = Years to double

History of the Rule of 72

The number 72 was first mentioned in 1494 by Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in his book “Summa de arithmetica geometria, proportioni et proportionalità” (“Summa de arithmetica geometria, proportioni et proportionalità”). Pacioli made an important point: the number 72 can be used to determine the number of years to double your assets.

The Rule of 72 was written almost a century later. It is based on the standard formula for compound interest: A = P (1 + r/n) nt. 

‘A’ is the interest you earned plus your principal (the total of your investments).

‘P’ is the principal or initial investment. 

‘r’ is the interest rate in decimal form. 

‘n’ is the number of compounding periods. 

‘t’ is the time in years.

If we want to double our money, we can substitute A = 2 and P = 1. This leaves us with 2 = 1 ( 1 + r/n) nt.

Assuming that the interest rate increases every year, we can substitute n for 1. We now have 2 = 1 ( 1 + r/1)1*t. We can simplify this equation to 2 = (1 + r)t. Now let’s take the logarithm of both sides to further simplify the equation: ln2 = ln (1 + r )nt.

Then use the rule of degree to reduce the exponent of the degree. ln2 = t * ln (1 + r). The natural logarithm of 2 is approximately 0.693. And for small values of r, ln ( 1 + r ) ≈ r. In other words, we can say that 0.693 ≈ t * r.

We can multiply both parts by 100 to use the interest rate as a whole number rather than a decimal. So we have 69.3 ≈ t * r (where r is the interest rate). Finally, to define t as the number of years it would take to double our investment, we can divide by 100r to get 69.3 / r ≈ t (where r is the interest).

Since 69.3 is a number that is difficult to divide by, statisticians and investors have agreed to use the next closest integer with many divisible multipliers, 72. So 72 divided by the interest rate (expressed as a percentage) gives you the approximate time (number of years) it will take to double your investment.

What does the rule of 72 show?

People like to see their money grow – especially as their investments double. Since most people can’t figure out the formula for doubling their assets without a calculator, Rule 72 is a useful inference to give a rough estimate of when an investment will double.

An important difference in this rule is that it does not use simple interest (the amount of the original investment multiplied by the interest rate multiplied by time). Rule 72 uses compound interest (the interest on your initial investment plus the interest earned on your previous interest). In other words, the rule of 72 assumes that every time an investment earns interest, you reinvest it. 

How do you calculate the number of years using the rule of 72?

The Rule of 72, unlike deriving the 72 formula itself, requires only division, no math. To estimate the doubling time of almost any investment, you need to divide 72 by the annual growth rate. You have to remember to use the whole number of the interest rate in the formula, not a percentage or decimal fraction.

For example, let’s say you have a $3 investment with a fixed interest rate of 6% per year. 72 divided by 3 equals 26. Thus, it will take 26 years for your $3 to grow to $6.

The rule of 72 can also tell you the declining value of an investment. For example, if inflation is 6%, 72 divided by 6 tells you that in about 12 (72/6) years, your money will be worth about half its current value. On the other hand, if inflation drops to 4%, your money will lose half its value in 18 years (72/4).

Rule 69 vs. rule 70 vs. rule 72

To calculate the number of years for deposits with annualized interest rates, Rule 72 works best.

Rule 70, on the other hand, is better suited for semi-annual interest accrual. Let’s look at this with an example. Let’s say you have an investment that has an interest rate of 8% and accrues interest semi-annually (or biannually).

Under the rule of 72, you would get 72/8 = 9 years. If you count by rule 70, you get 70/8 = 8.75 years.

Rule 69 gives more accurate results if you calculate continuously (in which case you reinvest the interest continuously and as often as possible), such as monthly or daily. 

Consider all three rules for an investment that has an interest rate of 2% per day.

Under rule 72, you will double your money in 36 years (72/2 = 36).

According to rule 70, you will double your money in about 35 years (70/2 = 35).

But rule 69 says you will double your money in 34.5 years (69/2 = 34.5).

What is Macroeconomics?


Macroeconomics is a key discipline within economics that focuses on the full analysis of an economy at the national, continental, or even global levels.

What is Macroeconomics?

Macroeconomics is a field of economics that focuses on the overall health of an economy by examining key indicators such as unemployment, inflation, interest rates, and GDP. It differs from the investigation of individual customers or businesses, which is the domain of microeconomics. Instead, it is concerned with the overall picture.

Macroeconomics seeks to understand the aggregate influence of all consumers’ and enterprises’ actions in an economy. It aims to identify the key economic factors. Macroeconomic knowledge of what drives the economy ahead may help governments, firms, banks, and other stakeholders make better decisions.

Why is Macroeconomics significant?

Macroeconomics seeks to explain economic cycles and the causes of an economy’s development or stagnation. It also seeks to understand the basic dynamics that shape the economy. Understanding the economic trajectory may help political authorities, corporations, financial institutions, and other players make sound decisions.

Macroeconomics gives a comprehensive view of the economy, which is helpful in forecasting market movements. It is essentially impossible to understand the broad economic outlook by evaluating specific portions of the economy.

The Evolution of Macroeconomics

In reaction to the 1930s Great Depression, modern macroeconomics took root. Economists’ past reliance on microeconomic approaches proved insufficient in understanding the crises that enveloped the world’s main economies.

Microeconomics is concerned with the finer elements of the economy. The Great Depression, on the other hand, had a far-reaching impact on the whole economy, not just one or two sectors. Economists required a new way to assess the entire economic environment.

Norwegian economist Ragnar Frisch coined the word “macroeconomics” in literature in 1933. Nonetheless, in the 1930s, it was the British economist John Maynard Keynes who popularized the use of macroeconomics to explain large-scale occurrences. With his 1936 book, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money,” Keynes established himself as the first of the great macroeconomists. His views attempted to explain the underlying causes of the Great Depression and suggest solutions.

Macroeconomics vs. Microeconomics

Macroeconomics studies the overall economy, whereas microeconomics examines certain aspects of it. For example, macroeconomists track overall production across all sectors of a country’s economy, but microeconomists may concentrate primarily on the performance of a single firm or sector.

Macroeconomic Research Areas

Macroeconomics is an important subject of study for investigating a wide variety of critical aspects that influence an economy. Among the many areas of macroeconomic research are:

Global Trade: The flow of products and services between countries may either help or hurt a country’s economy.

Legislation: Macroeconomics helps us evaluate if specific industry regulations have an impact on economic development or benefit the economy by fostering safe working conditions and a healthy environment.

Outcomes for Minority Groups: Macroeconomics may track the successes and setbacks of groups of people who have traditionally encountered occupational discrimination. As these groups become more active in the economy, the general economy improves.

Unemployment and Labor Market Growth: The status of the workforce is a critical driver of the economy’s health.

Fiscal Policy: The style and distribution of government expenditures can have an impact on the economy. For example, in the 1930s, the United States printed more money to stimulate a sluggish economy.

Green Businesses: Renewable energy and climate change are now hot themes. Macroeconomics may demonstrate the overall economic impact of environmental policies and investments.

Philosophies and Schools of Thought in Macroeconomics

There has never been agreement among economists throughout the world on the best way to manage an economy. Different perspectives exist throughout time, location, and the political spectrum. However, you may come across the following notable schools of macroeconomic thought:

Keynesianism in Economics

This hypothesis, named after British economist John Maynard Keynes, properly characterized the Great Depression and its long-term implications. Countries should have enacted economic measures targeted at rejuvenating the economy, according to this idea.


Popularized by economist Milton Friedman, monetarism emphasizes a country’s money supply and the proper quantity of money in use. Monetarists believe that governments should control economic development by increasing or decreasing the money supply. For example, in the late 2000s, the United States put more money into circulation to stimulate its stagnant economy.


Classical economists share the viewpoint of economist and philosopher Adam Smith, who thought that the financial market could reach general equilibrium without government interference. Classical economists oppose government economic initiatives, although their macroeconomic theory allows for modest involvement on occasion.


Austrian economic theory was developed by a group of eminent Austrian economists. Its supporters believe in the free market and believe that an economy should run without government interference, especially amid a financial crisis.


Marxist economic theory holds that the financial sector should be strictly regulated by the government. Marxists think that centralized authority protects the interests of the working class better than capitalist firm owners.

Behavioral economics studies the decision-making processes of market players rather than advocating macroeconomic policy. They want to know why highly knowledgeable investors, for example, occasionally make illogical judgments.

Macroeconomic Constraints

Macroeconomics is concerned with the whole economy rather than individual market actors. As a result, it is not always beneficial to comprehend the activities of particular customers, investors, or businesses.

Another drawback of modern macroeconomics is the inability to predict future economic activity reliably. Economists frequently rely on computerized macroeconomic models to forecast the economy’s future trajectory. However, due to the large number of continually changing factors, building exact computer models of macroeconomics that correctly reflect real-life situations is a difficult challenge.

What is the US National Debt?

The national debt, also known as public debt, is the total amount owed to creditors by a country.

What Does National Debt Represent?

Debt may take many forms, ranging from credit card bills and vehicle loans to mortgages and the $5 you owe to a buddy. Debt is typically the result of expenditure surpassing income for both individuals and businesses.

So, how can a country build its national debt? It’s comparable to how people and businesses accumulate debt. National debt increases when a country’s yearly expenditures exceed its annual revenue, although other variables influence governments differently than regular borrowers.

Each country has an annual budget that includes funds for defense, infrastructure, social programs, and other things. Taxes and other types of national income, such as custom costs, are the primary sources of budget support. They do not, however, always cover the entire country’s annual expenses.

Governments issue bonds, also known as Treasury securities or Treasury bonds, to cover income shortfalls and maintain a continuous and predictable source of budget funding. The national debt is the total outstanding value of all Treasury bonds issued by the government.

What is the Amount of US National Debt?

The current national debt of the United States is $33.69 trillion, according to the US Department of the Treasury. It is a substantial sum, amounting to nearly $94,000 per individual.

Ordinary people, on the other hand, are not required to repay their portion of the national debt. Debt payment consumes a set amount of the annual budget.

There’s a real-time representation of the national debt, known as the “National Debt Clock.” This iconic digital billboard, located in New York City, provides a visual and constantly updating display of the current national debt.

The United States Congress sets a limit on the amount of debt the government can incur, known as the “debt ceiling.” When the debt approaches this limit, it sparks debates and potential government shutdowns. These situations can have far-reaching consequences for financial markets and the economy.

National Debt vs. Budget Deficit

A budget deficit happens when a country’s yearly budget spending exceed its total annual income. National debt, on the other hand, is the total outstanding value of all government-issued Treasury bonds.

In the United States, Congress is in charge of approving the federal government’s yearly budget. The Treasury, which reports to the White House and is part of the executive branch, collects taxes, gets other income, and sells US Treasury securities, often known as Treasury bonds.

The US budget deficit arises when the yearly budget approved by Congress exceeds the Treasury’s collection of taxes and other income. A budget surplus occurs when income surpasses spending.

The Treasury sells bonds on a regular basis to fund the budget. It issues many forms of debt securities with varying durations and maturity periods, but they are all government liabilities. Investors anticipate monthly interest payments and the repayment of the principal amount when the securities mature.

The US national debt is the total value of all outstanding Treasury bonds. Because the Treasury sells bonds regardless of budget fluctuations, the link between national debt and budget deficit is partly indirect.

What is the Debt-to-GDP Ratio?

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country is the total value of all products and services generated in that country in a given year.

The debt-to-GDP ratio is computed by dividing a country’s total national debt by its total GDP over a year.

Total National Debt / GDP = Debt-to-GDP Ratio

The US national debt is $33.69 trillion, and the US GDP is $26.24 trillion. By dividing the former by the latter, we obtain a debt-to-GDP ratio of 128.6% for the United States. 

While this may appear to be a high debt-to-GDP ratio, it is not the highest in the world. Japan now has the highest debt-to-GDP ratio.

What is a Subsidiary?

A subsidiary is a company owned by another company, which is referred to as a parent company or a holding company.

Understanding the concept

Subsidiaries are typically companies owned by a larger organization called a parent or holding company. The parent company has a controlling stake in the subsidiary. If a subsidiary is wholly owned by a larger company, it is called a wholly owned subsidiary. Usually, a subsidiary retains legal and financial independence, but is subject to significant control by the parent company. By acquiring several subsidiaries, the parent company can become a conglomerate.


Since 2015, the largest subsidiary of Alphabet Inc is Google. This allows Google to focus on Internet-related business, and the Alphabet Inc. Holding company to develop other business areas.

A subsidiary company arises when a holding company acquires more than half of the shares of a given company. A subsidiary may have multiple owners, but it has only one parent company. A fully controlled parent company is called a “wholly owned subsidiary”. Subsidiaries may also be parent companies of other subsidiaries, and such a structure may have several levels of subsidiaries. Large corporations can have subsidiaries both at the national level and internationally to carry out activities in different countries.

For example, Microsoft Corporation owns several subsidiaries around the world, including Microsoft de Argentina S.A. in Argentina and Microsoft Deutschland GmbH in Germany.

What is the purpose of the subsidiary?

A subsidiary is a means to achieve the goals of the parent company. The subsidiary has the following objectives:

1. Using tax advantages
The parent company can use the profits of one subsidiary to compensate for the losses of another, which reduces the total taxable income. It is also possible to create a subsidiary in another state or country with a more favorable tax system.

2. Optimization of operations
A subsidiary located in a particular country or region can manage day-to-day operations more efficiently than a parent company located elsewhere.

3. Reduction of liability
The transfer of ownership and management of assets to a subsidiary allows the parent company to retain limited liability associated with these assets. In the field of commercial real estate, it is common practice to create a limited liability subsidiary (LLC) by the parent company in order to acquire and manage large assets, such as warehouses for storing products or office buildings in the city center.

4. Specific assets
Some subsidiaries can be acquired to obtain specific assets, avoiding the need to repeat their successful formula.

How does the subsidiary work?

For the operation of a subsidiary, it is necessary that the parent company owns more than half of the shares of the subsidiary and controls its activities. If the ownership share is less than half, the company is considered to be associated or affiliated. It is important to know that the financial statements of a subsidiary company differ from those of an associated company.

When creating a subsidiary, it is recommended to contact a state accountant with experience in transferring assets and knowledge of the tax code. The assets and liabilities of the parent company are usually separated from the subsidiary, which protects against creditors’ claims.

How is a subsidiary created?

The process begins with approval by the current management of the parent company. Then a vote must be held, and if a majority of votes support the creation of a subsidiary, the director draws up the decision in writing. For a subsidiary, you can choose one of the two most common types of commercial organizations – a corporation or an LLC.

Different states may have different rules and requirements for the registration and organizational structure of an LLC, so you need to contact a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and consult the State Chancellery website to get more information about the requirements for your state.

How does the subsidiary function?

The subsidiary often receives a controlling stake from the parent company, which thus provides the start-up capital. This capital is necessary to start the company’s operations.

The parent company usually defines in the charter of the subsidiary the rules of its internal management and its role as the owner. All changes in the charter require the approval of the parent company.

After the election and creation of the board of directors of the subsidiary, the parent company no longer interferes in its activities and the board can function as an independent organization.

The financial statements of the subsidiary are maintained separately from the financial statements of the parent company. However, the subsidiary’s balance sheet and profit and loss statements are often combined together with the parent company’s reports.

Why is a subsidiary being created?

The creation of a subsidiary company allows you to combine the benefits for the parent company. The parent company can control the subsidiary, protect its interests and have separate financial statements. In addition, the consolidation of accounting books makes it possible to compensate for profits with losses and reduce income taxes.

A subsidiary may also provide the parent company with advantages in the form of orderly operations and competitive advantages at the expense of its property, equipment or research and development department. In addition, the subsidiary provides tax benefits and protection from creditors and lawsuits.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a subsidiary?

One of the notable advantages of subsidiaries is the ability to keep the parent company and the subsidiary as separate entities. This means that the parent company is not legally responsible for the obligations and debts of the subsidiary. Instead, the liability of the parent company is limited to the initial capital, which is exchanged for equity and a controlling stake in the company.

Due to this, the assets of the parent company are usually protected from creditors, provided that there is a clear distinction between the operations of the parent company and the operations of the subsidiary. Such prudent investments allow the parent company to use other growth opportunities.

However, there are some disadvantages. Large-scale organizations, including subsidiaries, require a significant amount of documentation and are subject to bureaucracy. To truly separate these two organizations, each board of directors must act independently. This can delay the decision-making process and the implementation of actions.

What is the difference between a subsidiary and other structures of the company?

Below are a few common terms that have a similar meaning, but differ from the subsidiary:

A firm is considered affiliated when the parent company has a controlling stake. However, the subsidiary has full ownership of the parent company.

Unlike a subsidiary, a DBA is not a separate company. It’s really the same company, just operating under a different name. (Doing Business As)

A branch or division refers to a part of the company that does not operate in the main office. A subsidiary is a separate company.

Sister company
All sister companies are subsidiaries, but not all subsidiaries are sister companies. A sister company is related to another subsidiary because they both have the same parent company. However, a parent company can only have one subsidiary, in which case the subsidiary does not have its own sister companies.

Holding company
A holding company is a term that refers to a parent company, not a subsidiary. The holding company has enough shares to control the subsidiary(stocks), but it does not participate in its daily activities.

What is a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)?

For many homeowners, their property is not just a place to hang their hats; it’s also a valuable financial asset that can be leveraged to meet various financial goals. One way to unlock the potential of homeownership is through a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC).

This financial tool has gained popularity in recent years, offering homeowners a flexible way to tap into the equity they’ve built up in their homes. In this article, we’ll explore what a HELOC is, how it works, and the benefits and considerations associated with this financial option.

What is a HELOC?

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a revolving credit line that allows homeowners to borrow against the equity in their homes. Home equity is the difference between the market value of a property and the outstanding mortgage balance.

Over time, as homeowners make mortgage payments and their property’s value appreciates, they build up equity. A HELOC enables them to access a portion of this equity as a loan that can be used for various purposes.

How does HELOC work in steps?

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) operates in several steps, allowing homeowners to access funds based on the equity they have in their homes. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how a typical HELOC works:

1. Access to funds

Before applying for a HELOC, homeowners must assess their eligibility. Lenders consider factors such as credit score, loan-to-value ratio, and income to determine if you qualify for a HELOC.

2. Repayment Terms

Homeowners submit an application to a lender offering HELOCs. The lender will review the application and supporting documents, such as income verification and property appraisals.

Once approved, the lender will specify the terms of the HELOC, including the credit limit and interest rate.

3. Draw Period

The HELOC typically consists of two main periods: the draw period and the repayment period. During the draw period (which typically lasts 5-10 years), homeowners can access funds from the HELOC up to the approved credit limit.

Borrowers can choose how and when to use the funds. They can write checks, use a credit card linked to the HELOC, or make electronic transfers from the HELOC account.

4. Borrowing Funds

Homeowners can borrow funds from the HELOC as needed, up to the credit limit, just like using a credit card or taking a cash advance. Interest is only paid on the outstanding balance, and the minimum monthly payment often covers the interest charges during the draw period.

5. Repayment Period

After the draw period, the repayment period begins, typically lasting 10-20 years. During this period, homeowners must repay both the principal and interest on the outstanding balance. Monthly payments are typically higher during the repayment period compared to the draw period.

6. Variable Interest Rates

HELOCs typically have variable interest rates, which means the interest rate can fluctuate over time. The rate is often tied to a financial benchmark, such as the prime rate. Your monthly payments can vary based on changes in the interest rate.

7. Closing the HELOC

Once the repayment period is complete, and you’ve paid off the outstanding balance, the HELOC is considered closed. Homeowners can also choose to close the HELOC before the end of the repayment period, if desired.

8. Potential Renewal

Some HELOCs may offer options for renewal, allowing homeowners to access funds again after the initial draw and repayment periods are completed. Renewal terms may vary by lender.

Benefits of a HELOC


HELOCs offer immense flexibility for homeowners. You can use the funds for various purposes, such as home renovations, debt consolidation, education expenses, or unexpected medical bills.

Lower Interest Rates

HELOCs often have lower interest rates compared to credit cards or personal loans, making them an attractive option for borrowing.

Interest Deductibility

In some cases, the interest paid on a HELOC may be tax-deductible if the funds are used for qualified home improvements. However, tax laws and deductions can change, so it’s essential to consult a tax advisor.

Access to Equity

HELOCs allow homeowners to access a portion of their home equity without having to sell their property, providing a financial safety net.

Considerations Before Getting a HELOC

As with any secured loan, there’s a risk of losing your home if you can’t make the payments. Careful consideration is needed when using a HELOC.

The interest rate on a HELOC can change, which may result in fluctuating monthly payments. Consider how rising rates could impact your budget.

It’s crucial to understand the repayment terms and ensure you can make the required payments during the draw and repayment periods.

Like any financial product, HELOCs come with closing costs and fees, which can add to the overall cost of borrowing.

With the convenience of a revolving credit line, it’s essential to maintain financial discipline and avoid over-borrowing, which can lead to financial stress.

Difference Between a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and a Home Equity Loan

Both HELOCs and home equity loans are financial products that allow homeowners to access the equity they’ve built in their homes, but they differ in terms of how you receive the funds and how you repay them:

Access to Funds

A Home Equity Line of Credit provides a revolving line of credit, much like a credit card. You can borrow and repay as needed during the draw period, which is typically 5-10 years.

A home equity loan provides a lump sum of money upfront. You receive the entire loan amount at once.

Repayment Terms

HELOC: During the draw period, you typically make interest-only payments. After the draw period, you enter the repayment period and must repay both the principal and interest over a set number of years.

Home Equity Loan: With a home equity loan, you start making both principal and interest payments right away. The repayment term is typically fixed, and the loan is amortized over a specified number of years.

Interest Rates

HELOC: HELOCs often come with variable interest rates, which can fluctuate over time. The interest rate is usually tied to a benchmark, like the prime rate.

Home Equity Loan: Home equity loans typically have fixed interest rates, providing predictability in your monthly payments.

How to Calculate Home Equity

To calculate your home equity, follow these steps:

Determine Your Property’s Market Value: You can get an estimate of your home’s current market value by hiring a professional appraiser or using online tools, consulting a local real estate agent, or checking recent sales of comparable properties in your neighborhood.

Calculate Your Outstanding Mortgage Balance: Contact your mortgage lender or check your mortgage statement to find out your remaining mortgage balance.

Subtract the Mortgage Balance from the Market Value: Subtract the outstanding mortgage balance from the estimated market value. The result is your home equity.

Mathematically, the formula for calculating home equity is:

Home Equity=Market Value of the Property−Outstanding Mortgage BalanceHome Equity=Market Value of the Property−Outstanding Mortgage Balance

For example, if your home is estimated to be worth $300,000, and you have an outstanding mortgage balance of $200,000, your home equity would be $100,000.


In conclusion, a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) can be a valuable financial tool for homeowners, offering flexibility and potential benefits. However, it’s important to carefully assess your financial situation, needs, and risk tolerance before applying for a HELOC.

Consulting with a financial advisor or mortgage specialist can help you make an informed decision on whether a HELOC is the right choice for you. When used responsibly, a HELOC can unlock the financial potential of your home and help you achieve various personal and financial goals.

What is the dividend yield?


Dividend yield is a ratio, expressed as a percentage, that compares a company’s annual dividend (the total amount of dividends paid by the company in the last financial year) to its share price.

What is the dividend yield?

The dividend yield is a tool for comparing a company’s dividend to its share price. It is the annual dividend divided by the share price, where the annual dividend can either be the total dividend paid in the last financial year, the most recent dividend multiplied by four (reflecting four financial quarters), or the total dividend paid in the last four quarters per share. 

A high dividend yield can mean that a stock brings investors a tidy sum compared to its share price. However, higher dividends do not always indicate high investment potential. Dividend yields tend to change most in response to fluctuations in a company’s share price, rather than based on its dividend value. 

For example, a company whose shares are suddenly falling in value may have a very high dividend yield, or a company whose share price is rising rapidly may have a low dividend yield. This helps to show why it is important to use dividend yields as just one tool for evaluating potential investments.

How do I determine the dividend yield?

The dividend yield is the percentage determined by dividing a company’s total annual dividend by its share price. To calculate a company’s dividend yield, we need to calculate its total annual dividend and then divide it by the share price at a certain point in time.

For example, consider Apple’s dividend yield for 2022. Apple’s total annual dividend can be determined in several different ways:

– Taking Apple’s most recent dividend and multiplying it by four (since Apple pays four dividends a year). 

– By adding up Apple’s last four quarterly dividends.

– By adding up the four dividends for Apple’s last completed financial year (aka fiscal year). 

For this example, we add up Apple’s last four dividend payments to calculate its annual dividend and its closing share price on 7 May 2023 to calculate its share price.

Let’s calculate: Apple’s annual dividend = the sum of the four dividends paid by Apple for the year: 23 cents paid in the last 4 quarters *4 = $0.92 annual dividend

Apple share price of 7 May 2023 = $172.89

Annual dividend of $0.92 divided by share price of $172.89 = yield of 0.53%

Dividend yield vs. total yield

Dividend yield is one component of the total return equation, which is a way of quantifying the total monetary benefit or detriment of investing in equities. 

The total return is the sum of the dividend yield (if the shares pay dividends) plus the percentage change in the share price.

Total return percentage (over a period of time) = % dividend yield + % price change over that period.

For example, if a share yields a dividend yield of 3% and its shares increase by 7% this year, the total yield would be 10%.

The total yield can also be negative. If a share pays a dividend of 2%, but its value has fallen by 7%, the total return will be -5%.

The total return can change frequently and significantly depending on a company’s share price. It can also change, for example, in response to significant changes in that company’s dividend, which will affect the dividend yield.

Dividend yield vs. payout ratio

The payout ratio and dividend yield are two different ratios that can be useful tools when evaluating potential equity investments. The payout ratio shows what percentage of a company’s profits that company spends on dividends (it is calculated by dividing the annual dividend per share by the company’s earnings per share). Meanwhile, the dividend yield is the amount of dividend on a stock divided by its price.

What are the limits to the dividend yield?

High dividend yields do not always correlate with sound investments. Dividend yields depend both on the amount of the company’s dividend and on its share price, which can change suddenly and dramatically. As a result, dividend yields can suddenly increase (if the stock falls) or decrease (if the stock rises). 

However, in these cases, a high dividend yield may not correlate with a positive company trajectory and a low dividend yield may not correlate with a negative company trajectory. 

A company’s dividend yield may also become less accurate to calculate as more time passes since the company last paid a dividend or declared a dividend (e.g., a company’s plans to reduce its dividend yield may indicate how an investor assesses the relevance of its last dividend calculation).

It helps to show why it is important to consider many indicators and signals when evaluating potential equity investments. Here are a few indicators other than dividend yields which can be useful when valuing a stock:

1. The company’s profit and revenue growth story.

2. Dividend history of the company (if it pays any)

3. Company debt and debt history.

4. A company’s credit rating (aka creditworthiness of the company).

Which companies have high dividend yields?

It is important to calculate the dividend yield for each individual company to understand how one dividend-paying stock compares to another. However, there are some patterns in the characteristics of companies that tend to have high or low dividends. Here are three common patterns among companies with high dividend yields:


Companies that are more established and stable tend to have higher dividend yields. These are often consumer companies that see sustained demand from consumers that is not affected by seasonal changes.

Certain sectors

Think about core products and services. Examples of these types of companies are those that sell products that people use widely and frequently and are reluctant to cut back on their budgets, even under personal financial stress or in a weak economy. Examples of such products are consumer packaged goods such as food, drink or hygiene products, and products such as tobacco or alcohol. Utility companies are another example of services that tend to enjoy stable demand and high dividend yields.

Companies with income management

Some companies, such as REITs (real estate investment trusts), business development companies and general limited partnerships, are usually set up in such a way that the US Treasury requires them to pass most of their profits to shareholders. As part of this requirement (the company does not have to pay taxes on the income it sends to shareholders in the form of dividends, but the shareholder must account for this income in their taxes as ‘ordinary’ income). Because these companies have such high dividends, they tend to have high dividend yields as a result.

Note on technology shares

Many technology companies do not offer dividends at all. Among those that do, the general rule remains that the more mature a company is, the higher its dividend yield.

What is the Weighted Average?

Understanding the weighted average

A weighted average is an average that takes into account the importance of each number you average. When you find the average (or mean) of a set of numbers, usually all you have to do is add up the numbers and then divide the sum by the number of values you have added. The weighted average assigns importance (or weight) to each number.

Averages are standard statistical tools that can be used to find an approximate midpoint in a set of numbers. The problem with finding the average of a set of numbers is that it does not take into account the relative importance of those numbers.

Weighted averages remedy this deficiency by assigning importance to each number and taking this importance into account when calculating the average. Weighted averages are valuable because they provide more information than a simple average, without requiring much additional information – only the information needed to assign weights to each number.

What is the weighted average method?

The weighted average method is a method of determining the average cost of a product or investment. Companies often use this method to track the value of inventory. Investors can use it to track the cost basis for investments where first-in-first-out (FIFO) or last-in-first-out (LIFO) cost bases are not used.

The advantage of using the weighted average method is that it is easier to track. Systems such as FIFO or LIFO require individual tracking of each unit. This means that businesses must track each unit of each item in the inventory and investors must track the underlying value of each stock they own.

The disadvantage of the weighted average cost method is that it is less accurate. If a business buys raw materials at very different prices, the weighted average will not adequately reflect the lowest or highest cost. This could result in the company setting the price of goods too low, resulting in a loss of money on sales that used the components bought at the high price. Theoretically, sales of goods produced by cheaper supply batches will compensate for this loss, but this is not always the case.

When do you use weighted averages?

One scenario in which it is useful to use the weighted average method is when a single event can have several positive or negative outcomes, but the magnitude of the positive or negative outcome is variable.

Weighted averages can be subjective. Each number in a set must have a weight. How to assign weights is usually an individual decision. Two people with the same dataset may assign weights quite differently, resulting in two different weighted averages. As typical averages do not include subjective weights, they cannot be biased in the same way.

How to calculate a weighted average?

To calculate weighted averages, you need to start with a set of numbers. Weighted averages are often used to calculate grades for a class, so provide a set of grades that looks something like this.









When you have a set of numbers, you have to assign a weight to each one. The list of tasks includes homework, tests and exams. You can make a table with grades and type of assignment, for example:

The syllabus states that homework is assessed at 25% of the final grade, quizzes at 35% and exams at 40%. The next step is to multiply each grade by the appropriate weighting.

Finally, sum the results and divide them by the sum of the weights to find the final weighted average.

25% + 28,7% + 24,5% + 23,75% + 40% + 25% + 21% + 28,8% = 216,75%

0,25 + 0,35 + 0,35 + 0,25 + 0,4 + 0,25 + 0,35 + 0,4 = 2,6

216,75% / 2,6 = 83,365%

How do I use Excel to find a weighted average?

One of the most significant disadvantages of using weighted averages is that the calculations can be complicated. But it is easy to calculate in Excel.

Start by creating two columns, one containing each number and the other containing the weight of each number. Then use the SUMPRODUCT function to multiply each number by its weight and sum the results.

Then use the SUM function to find the sum of all weights. Finally, divide the SUM of the numbers by the AMOUNT of the weights to find the weighted average.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

Reverse mortgages allow an elderly homeowner to borrow on home equity in their home, receiving a lump sum, fixed monthly payment or credit line.

How does a reverse mortgage work?

As the name suggests, reverse mortgages are the opposite of conventional mortgages. Instead of borrowing money from a lender, you borrow money secured by equity that you already have in your home. Anyone aged 62 and over can get a reverse mortgage, and they are often reserved for people who may have retired and are living without a monthly salary. Reverse mortgages can help homeowners pay for a range of costs, including regular living expenses, home accommodations or paying for their children’s college tuition. Reverse mortgages have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to listen to both sides of the story before making a decision.

The process of making a reverse mortgage

There are several different ways to receive payment when making a reverse mortgage:

Lump Sum: Get all the money after all the paperwork for your loan has been signed.

Tenure: Receive equal monthly payments each month until at least one borrower lives in the house, or until the money runs out.

Frequency: Receive equal monthly payments for a predetermined period of time.

Credit Line: Access the credit line so you can borrow money if needed.

Modified tenure: Get equal monthly payments while at least one borrower lives in the house, plus a line of credit to potentially borrow more money.

Modified deadline: Get equal monthly payments for a predetermined period of time, plus a line of credit if you need to borrow more money.

The reverse mortgage is paid either when the recipient of the loan moves out of the house or when he dies. At this time, the money must be returned. This is usually done with the money raised from the sale of the house.

The types of a reverse mortgage

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is the most popular type of reverse mortgage. It is insured by the federal government and is only available through creditors approved by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

The FHA limits the amount of money you can borrow on this type of mortgage to the current limit of $970,800 for 2022.

This type of loan has no restrictions on income or medical requirements. It can also be used for any reason, which is part of what makes it popular.

A single-purpose reverse mortgage is a loan from a state, local or non-profit agency. You can only use it for one reason, such as paying property taxes or renovating your home, and the lender must approve the loan designation.

You may be eligible for a private reverse mortgage (aka “jumbo reverse mortgage”) if the value of your home exceeds the lending limit for HECM (currently $970,800 in 2022).

While this type of mortgage allows you to borrow more money, it is not insured by the federal government and you are likely to pay a higher interest rate.

The pros and cons of a reverse mortgage

As with any major financial decision, there are both advantages and disadvantages to getting a reverse mortgage. It is important to weigh both sides before making a final decision.


That could be one of the only ways you get money if you’re over 62 and struggling financially.

Reverse mortgage payments (especially in the case of HECM) can be used for a variety of purposes.

You can stay in the house you worked so hard to create.


Reverse mortgages often come with high fees and interest rates. Fees are charged for shipping, maintenance, recording and other closing costs. The average fixed-rate reverse mortgage rate in 2022 was 4.81%, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

When you take out a reverse mortgage, you reduce the equity in your home. This could mean you have fewer assets to leave to your heirs and the likelihood that your family will have to sell your home to repay the loan.

if you don’t pay home insurance and property taxes, you risk losing your home. Failure to pay any of these payments may result in foreclosure.

Because older people are often easy targets for fraudsters, there are a number of fraudulent schemes specifically designed for reverse mortgages. We’ll look at them in more detail in the next section.

The rules for a reverse mortgage

Since HECMs are regulated by the FHA, there are rules related to these loans.

The first rule is that you must be at least 62 years old or older. You have to live in this house as your primary residence, and you have to own most or all of it, according to HUD. Lenders may have special requirements for how much equity you need, but you usually have to own at least half.

You should also consult with a HUD-approved counselor before taking out a reverse mortgage so they can discuss the pros and cons of this type of credit.

In addition, you must continue to pay property taxes, homeowner insurance and any homeowner association fees. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in the loss of your home.

Fees and interest rates for reverse mortgages

Because HECM credits are federally regulated and insured, HUD sets the following fees:

Mortgage insurance premiums: Pay 2% of the loan balance at closing and 0.5% of the loan balance each year.

Down payment: Pay whichever is more – $2,500 or 2% of the first $200,000 home value plus 1% of the home value over $200,000. The maximum amount is $6,000.

Third party fees: Additional fees may include valuation, title retrieval, insurance, checks, among others.

Service charges: Lenders provide a range of regular services as long as you have credit, such as sending you payments and statements, and making sure you pay insurance and property tax. The maximum amount of this fee is $30 if the interest rate is fixed or adjusted once a year, or $35 if the rate is adjusted monthly. For single-target reverse mortgages, interest rates and fees tend to be lower than for HECMs.

But with your own reverse mortgage, you’re likely to pay higher interest rates to offset the lack of mortgage insurance.

How to avoid reverse mortgage scams

Unfortunately, there are people looking for ways to trick unsuspecting seniors into depriving them of their hard-earned money and home. These scammers are often strangers, but sometimes close people.

These scammers can take the form of contractors or home goods suppliers urging older people to take out reverse mortgages to pay for redevelopment and repairs they don’t need.

Under another common scenario, a financial adviser can persuade a homeowner to take out a reverse mortgage to pay for shares or insurance products that may not be in their best interests.

Unfortunately, in some scams, children or other loved ones of the elderly convince them to take out a reverse mortgage for their own benefit.

Here are some ways to avoid falling victim to reverse mortgage fraud:

– Seek advice on reverse mortgages before making a purchase.

– Be careful if anyone (including a loved one or financial adviser) asks you to grant them power of attorney.

– Don’t sign anything you don’t understand.

– Do not accept unsolicited offers.

– Never agree to a reverse mortgage that requires you to transfer ownership of your home.

– A good way to avoid fraud could be to use the list of creditors HUD maintains.

What is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)?

The Environmental Protection Agency is a separate government department in the United States that is in charge of creating and implementing environmental rules.

What is the Environmental Protection Agency?

At President Richard Nixon’s request, Congress accepted a plan to establish the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December 1970. The Environmental Protection Agency’s objective is to preserve human health and the environment by ensuring that everyone has access to clean air, land, and water.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s principal function is to create and administer rules based on environmental legislation passed by Congress. The organization also assists businesses and people in learning about environmental concerns and complying with federal environmental legislation.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can enforce its regulations by punishing corporations that breach environmental laws.

What does EPA do?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a government agency that operates independently. It has offices around the country, as well as labs and research facilities.

The EPA carries out its responsibilities in a number of ways, including:

– Development and adherence to the regulations

– Provision for Grants

– Environmental investigation

– Educating individuals about their surroundings

– Information dissemination

When Congress approves a legislation, it frequently has to delegate regulatory authority to a specific federal agency. Laws passed by Congress are frequently insufficiently directive to advise stakeholders how to comply with the law. Instead, the agency makes regulations to ensure that the law is followed.

What exactly are EPA norms?

When Congress approves environmental protection regulations, it frequently delegates responsibility to the Environmental Protection Agency to draft rules to implement that law. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency was given the authority to set air quality standards by the Clean Air Act, which was approved by Congress in 1970.

When the EPA creates regulations to implement federal laws, there is a public comment period during which anybody can make comments on the proposed rule. After passing the appropriate steps, the proposed modification becomes the final rule published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). When that occurs, it will be enforceable by law.

The EPA can control the behavior of people, corporations, state and local governments, and non-profit organizations through its regulatory duties.

What are some of the EPA’s functions?

The EPA has created an environmental justice program as part of its enforcement efforts. It uses this tool to identify civil and criminal infractions of federal rules. When the EPA intends to file a civil or criminal dispute, it works directly with the United States Department of Justice or state attorneys general. The majority of cases are civil, with criminal charges normally being filed only for the most serious infractions, such as when a person willfully ignores federal law.

Another important responsibility of the Environmental Protection Agency is to award grants for causes related to environmental and human health protection. The EPA awards nearly $4 billion in grants each year to groups ranging from small nonprofits to huge enterprises and governments.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of study and Development has been directed to finish scientific study on environmental challenges. They investigate answers to some of the most challenging environmental and human health issues.

The study they conduct assists them in developing their own regulations. It also enables them to communicate current environmental challenges to local governments, companies, and organizations.

Education is one of the EPA’s primary functions. It tries to educate the people in order to assist them care for the environment better. It also works closely with schools and teachers, assisting them in the development of lesson plans for teaching youngsters about global environmental challenges.

The creation of standards for different environmental concerns is one of the primary duties of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through its regulatory body. Emission standards requirements, which are a result of the Clean Air Act, are one example of EPA standards. The Environmental Protection Agency establishes particular guidelines for emissions from specific sources. For example, different types of vehicles, such as automobiles, large trucks, and motorbikes, have different emission limits.

How can you get in touch with the EPA?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to be working hard to make itself as transparent as possible to the public. It has a number of hotlines open to the public for assistance with any situation. To begin with, there are regional customer care lines. Special hotlines on certain issues are also accessible. These hotlines give current rules as well as the most recent research on topics such as asbestos, drinking water, environmental justice, and pollution.

People can report crises and spills to the EPA’s national response center. It also allows members of the public to report infractions of environmental laws and regulations privately.