Combining Your Vacation and Business Travel to Save on Taxes

A vacation can be quite a high expenditure, yet may be a necessary break for you and your family. As vacations are typically considered a luxury expense, it means that you have to bear all the costs for your vacation with no help or breaks from Uncle Sam. However, with proper tax planning, you can deduct some vacation expenses under business travel. This is common practice is especially popular in the corporate world. Ever wondered why management meetings, corporate strategic meetings, or client entertainment are done in extravagant and lavish hotels?

You need to be careful when deducting the vacation/”business” expenses to ensure that you are within the rules of what the IRS qualifies as permissible costs. Furthermore, besides business travel, you can also deduct expenses for travel that couples as trips in looking for a job. These tips will help you properly plan your trip and maximize on possible “business” deductions:

Job Hunt Travel Expenses

The tax code allows for individuals to deduct travel expenses for travel to look for employment, even if one does not consequently get a job. However, you need to have been searching for a job that is in line with your current occupation. You cannot claim deductions if you are a first-time job searcher or if you are looking for a job outside your current career field. The IRS does not also allow taxpayers to deduct expenses if they have been unemployed for a long time and are looking to get back into the job market, even if their search for a job is within his or her former business or career specialty. The IRS permits deductions for expenses including travel, meals, and lodging accommodations. Therefore, when planning your vacation, you can combine the travel expenses with the expenses accumulated in search of new employment to claim the deductions.

Transportation Costs for Business Travel

Business travel deductions come with several rules that have to be carefully followed. The IRS is aware that a lot of business expenses can be misused to cater to personal expenses. Therefore, this could be a red flag area for IRS audits and therefore, you need to be careful when claiming such deductions. Costs for transportation within the U.S. are allowed if a trip has a business purpose. For international travel, a taxpayer will need to demonstrate that at least 75% of the trip’s purpose was for business to have the costs allowed as a deductible. If not, the taxpayer will need to set aside the business elements of the travel costs from the personal elements. If business travel is on a cruise, then it has to be on a U.S. vessel and the vessel must avoid docking at foreign harbors to be tax deductible. The business expense deductible for a cruise has at a cap of $2,000.00 a year.

Accommodation and Meals for Business Travel

For accommodation and meals, one needs to show that the stay was business-driven. However, you can overstay in your travel destination and enjoy a vacation after the business dealings are done. In such a case, you can only deduct the transport expenses and the expenses incurred during the business period of your trip. You will have to shoulder the full expenses of the extension time, as this is a personal expense. For business meals for yourself and your business associates, the tax code allows for only 50% of the cost to be deductible (you will need to foot the other 50% without a deduction break).

Other Expenses

The IRS also allows the deduction of any other business-related expenses while on your business travel. These expenses include tips, any taxi or car hiring expenses, phone calls, Internet connectivity charges, and laundry. However, the expenses need to be reasonable to avoid unnecessary audits. Furthermore, the IRS can reject deduction claims based on the levels of extravagance. There is a fine balancing that needs to be practiced here to avoid any IRS problems.

Travel with Family

If your business and vacation travel includes your family, you cannot deduct any of the expenses relating only to your family. You can however, deduct any costs that you shared with your family as business expenses. If for example you traveled to your destination for business in your car with your family in tow, then the transport will be an allowable business expense. You can also combine other costs such as car-hire costs and shared accommodations.

Why not combine business with pleasure? If you have the opportunity to travel for business, you can enjoy some new restaurants, hotels, or entertainment spots with your business associates and be able to get some tax relief from Uncle Sam. Or, maybe you can take some “personal time” on the road and do some job hunting on your trip to get some tax breaks.

Free Solar Panel Schemes Explained

You may have seen recent announcements in the press regarding ‘solar panel giveaways’ from new companies offering to install photovoltaic panels on your home completely for free. Solar PV panels are known to be extremely expensive, so how on earth could a company offer them for free, and why would they do it?

The answer is relatively straightforward, the companies involved stand to make a considerable amount of money from the scheme. The key behind it is that installing photovoltaic panels under the feed-in tariff is a very good investment. Installing them on your home is especially good because the feed-in tariff pays the most money for small PV installations. Anyone deciding on where to invest their money should definitely look at getting a solar installation, it’s a tax-free, index linked investment that can be a great help to families and the environment.

Unsurprisingly for the UK economy however, where a good investment is to be found it doesn’t take long for the investment banks to come lurking. All of the free solar schemes offered are actually based on investment funds set-up by a well known UK investment bank. The fund is created to pay for solar installations on suitable UK homes, and then all the revenues from the solar panels go directly back to the bank. Some electricity savings are passed to the resident, but the big majority of returns go straight to the bank.

The second critical ingredient to this arrangement is the network of installers to design and install the installations. In the UK there are not a huge number of these installer networks. Behind each of these solar panel schemes is a different network such as the Mark Group and Eaga, firms which have over a thousand installers. They grew by doing boiler replacements and installation fitting for utilities such as British Gas. This arrangement means company who actually sells you the system is in fact a middle man between you, the bank and installer. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this, but its important to understand what is going on.

The other way of looking at it is that the investment banks are providing a service. Not everyone is in the position to invest 10k in a solar PV system and the ‘free solar’ schemes allow a wider range of people to experience solar energy and benefit from it. The arrangement means that the feed-in tariff payments go to the investment bank, but the savings in electricity bills at least are retained by the resident.

Overall these financing schemes will help to quickly grow the industry in the UK, but beware of how they work and know that you would make a lot more money if you self-financed. In Germany and other more mature solar energy markets, what you find is that ‘solar loans’ are widely available. This is the cheapest way of financing a solar installation. You just get a loan for however much you need in order to buy your system and pay it off with the feed-in tariff revenue. It means you still get to own the system and receive at least a portion of the feed-in tariff.

So if you would like solar panels but can’t afford to invest 10k over 25 years then getting some sort of financing is a good idea. It might just be worth waiting for better financial products rather than lining the pockets of investment bankers however.

How To Make A Family Tree For Free In The US

I have to admit it, I don’t have much money. I have plenty of enthusiasm when it comes to making a family tree, but I’m not a millionaire. I make a salary, but there isn’t much left after rent and food. So, when I first started making my family tree, I was determined to make it without spending anything. In actuality, I wound up spending a lot more than nothing. In my eyes, it was more like a fortune, but to be honest, I think it was worth it. What I’ve learned about my family is priceless and the adventure isn’t over yet. It makes it possible for me to go to my job and not complain (much); because I have something else in my life. I have spent protracted periods of time talking to various people, and I know how to make a family tree with zero cost, but and this is where the big but comes in, it depends on where you are starting from. I was starting from ground-zero, so I had to spend something to find out stuff.

If you live in the United States, you will discover that it is not that easy to finish a family tree without spending something. One of the biggest reasons it is harder to accomplish is that United States records are done at the local level which means that the county is in charge and at times it even goes down to the parish level. Secondarily, there is no central repository; therefore, no central records that you can check details unless you are willing to part with some of your hard earned money. You probably can’t afford to go to every location to physically check the records so you will have to rely on the local records office to provide you with copies. Copies cost money, and you’re off and running up the family tree bill.

With that said, when researching your family tree, you need to prioritize. You know it’s going to cost you something, but realize that the largest expenditure generally comes from purchasing certificates related to your family. Record holders and government agencies can charge anywhere from $15 to $30 per certificate depending on type and location of purchase. Pricing is taken care of at the state and county level so it is varied and subject to change at any time.

Generally, marriage, birth and death certificates in the United States were available from the late 19th century onwards, so you are going to have to do some heavy duty research to find documents farther back. In addition it was only at this point was there any requirement imposed to store records and prior to that it was catch-as-catch can. Many folks just didn’t see the need to let anybody know about births, deaths and marriages in their family, preferring if they recorded it at all, to put it in the family Bible rather than some official agency.

Privacy laws also play a part when you are trying to get copies of various documents unless you can prove that you are related to the person you are trying to track. Many times you will need to prove your link to the person in question, so before you get started you will want to talk to relatives about what you are attempting. They might have documents you can copy, reducing both costs and bureaucratic red tape.

One of the best record sources in the United States is the census and if your family is of a certain religion, the church. The census is pretty comprehensive and is chocked full of useful information. The church also tends to keep very detailed records of full families if you attend the same church for years.

Let’s face it. Nothing in life is free, and tracing your family roots is no exception. I will tell you there is actually quite a bit of information out there if you are willing to look, and there are many possible resolutions to the issues you might face when doing family tree research in the U.S. There are many sources of free info, but you will have to spend more time gathering the information. Sometimes, paying for a bit of documentation will make your life much easier.

One place that has a wealth of knowledge is The Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) – They house an extensive set of records relating to most countries, and more specifically to the United States that they have gathered from various churches and parishes. Much of this material is available for free at familysearch.org. They have birth, marriage and death records as well copies of the censuses for FREE! The amount of information outweighs the few drawbacks which are that things haven’t been fully transcribed yet. but as a good place to start, LDS is wonderful.

Cindy’s List – cyndislist.com/ – A huge resource of information, broken down by state and counties, with literally thousands of links. The only issue with this site is that it can be somewhat difficult to navigate. You can spend hours trying to find anything!!! However, if you don’t have gobs of money to spend, you will need to give up your time in research and sometimes frustration.

Please do a search for these in google:

Rootsweb – World Connect Project – Put in your ancestors name and hit the search button, and it will check millions of existing records and return the results.

HeritageQuest Online – Usually this site is only available via subscription, but your local library may have access for free. It includes census bureau results as well as vital statistics.

Interment.net – Free Cemetery Records Online – Over two million records are stored here taken from literally thousands of cemeteries around the world.

US Genweb – The original and largest storehouse for United States genealogy.

Ancestry.com – This website offers a free 14-day trial of their service.

USGenWeb Archives – Search engine that will go through every United States record without visiting each state’s website. Very timesaving, this is a very well-hidden service that is, as a result, under used by most people

US Social Security Death Index – Easy to use database has 64 million records of deaths that occurred after 1962. Searches return birth date, death date, residence and inheritor.

Ellis Island Records – Nearly half of all American immigrants arrived through Ellis Island, New York. There’s is easy access to ships’ passenger manifest records from 1892-1924. Original manifests and photos available.

Illinois State Archives – Free databases available from the Illinois State Archives, includes marriage records.

Castle Garden Online – Search by name and time period for immigrants who landed at Castle Garden between 1830 and 1890.

Geneanet – This 85 million name database is culled from free websites worldwide.

Michigan Genealogical Death Indexing System – 170,000+ Michigan death records are available from 1867 to 1897. It’s a free index.

Kentucky Vital Records – The Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics in conjunction with the University of Kentucky have transcribed three million state vital records for Kentucky.

Utah Census Search is a free search tool for the Utah Federal census – 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880.

GenCircles – Global Tree is a well-liked web location for searching and submitting family trees using GEDCOM files. Over 32 million surnames can be searched with cross matching to other trees possible.

Obituary Central – If you need death records for the United States or Canada, then the search tools at OC will make it a breeze.

Pennsylvania Digital Archives – The Pennsylvania Archives Records Information Access System houses over 600,000 digitized records.

Maryland State Archives – Free Genealogy Indexes – Maryland State Archives site has lots of great info on it.

Oregon Historical Records Index: This is a free index of surnames compiled from a first-rate list of documents held by the Oregon State Archives.

There are also loads of forums geared towards assisting in your search to find your ancestors such as Discover like minded folks who are willing to aid you in your search with tips, techniques and advise.

Why International Business Travellers Need Specialized Travel Insurance Cover

In this work driven world, people are goal-oriented and often financially driven; and sometimes people take for granted the importance of physical safety. Insurance makes security tangible. The insurance industry has delved its hands into various aspects of life, securing animals to kids to education to cars. You name it, insurance can secure it. Insurance has become so important in our everyday life that it’s now considered an imperative need.

The largest group of insurance companies are engaged in the travel insurance business. These insurance companies typically offer specialised policies to business travellers. The policies cover risks associated with international or domestic travel which include accidents, deaths, trip cancellations, lost tickets, damage to properties like car rentals and other concerns related to travelling. Procuring this type of insurance is important because it provides security not only to the traveller but also the employer.

Business travellers, especially those travelling internationally, are people on the go. Their employers are potential policy holders. Business travellers are exposed to more risks. The risk covered by the corporate travel insurance is unique to the business the traveller represents. For example, a business traveller working as a car dealer meets an accident while on a Cessna plane can be compensated by a travel insurance covering the risks of medical expenses while working on the job. In getting a corporate travel insurance policy, it is important to tailor the policy in order to cover all the risks that the business traveller is exposed to in relation to the work he’s involved in. Equity dictates that tailored fit policies are necessary for the safety and security of both the employer and the business travellers because of the basic reason that their travels are considered work; it is but a natural obligation for the employers to compensate and insure them.

Corporate travel insurance differs from the usual holidaymaker insurance because it cover more risks and could be specialised in accordance to the type of business the business traveller represents. For example, if the business traveller is working for mining company, the travel insurance policy can include accidents met while visiting a mining site. Because of this specialisation feature, the premium paid for these corporate travel insurance is higher than the usual travel insurance.

A tailored corporate insurance policy is being offered by various insurance companies. One of the most comprehensive policies is the group business travel insurance. For this type of insurance, it is important that the insured or the policy holder is the employer and the beneficiaries are the employees or group members. As to the requirements, each insurance policy provides for different requirements; basically if the employer can pay the premium and the insurance company is willing to cover the risk then a tailored group business insurance policy can be issued.

People work to earn a living. Often than not their work is the cause of their injuries. It is important for employers as well to prevent lawsuits filed by employees they send for travel. The best and equitable solution is to procure corporate travel insurance.

Is Our Understanding of the Glycemic Index the Answer to Obesity and Other Weight-Related Problems?

Now here’s some shocking statistics for you. Did you know that as many as 1 in 2 Americans is on a diet at any given time; that nearly 2 out of every 3 Americans are clinically defined as overweight; and 1 in every 3 American adults are so overweight that they are considered obese. And let me add just one other statistic to emphasize just how big a problem this is. It is estimated, according to SurgeonGeneral.gov that 1 out of every 8 deaths in America relate to a person being overweight.

I think you’ll agree with me that these are absolutely shocking figures and in fact it was such a concern that way back in 2001, the Surgeon General of the United States, Dr Carmona, actually called for strong public health action.

But the problem is not just unique to adults. It’s a frightening fact that the problem is now spreading to our children. Such was the growing problem with child obesity that in July 2003, the Surgeon General gave a statement before the House of Representatives subcommittee on the growing problem. And the sad fact is that despite the spotlight focus on the issue, the percentage of people that is clinically defined as overweight and the number of people classed as obese, is growing every year.

While I have focused attention on US figures, which is at the top of the league table when it comes to numbers of overweight and obese individuals, it is not just a US health problem. The UK is quickly catching up and it seems that many other countries that follow in America’s footsteps, when it comes it eating habits, show similar signs of a growing problem every year.

In my pursuit to find out why there appears to be a growing epidemic around the world, I discovered some shocking truths about the food and the weight loss industries, some of these discoveries are revealed in a video I prepared earlier in the year. Its enough to make your blood boil!

The reason why I’m so angry and passionate on the subject of food and healthy eating is because our growing problem with weight loss and obesity is invariably due not to individual choice to over-eat or eat unhealthily, but more to do with the types of highly processed and fabricated food being churned out and labeled as healthy or low fat all backed with huge marketing budgets. Quite frankly its not any surprise that people are genuinely confused on what food is good for you.

In my book, the Glycemic Index At One With Nature, I set out the scientific reason in plain easy to follow language why following the glycemic index to eating food is probably the simplest and most effective method to permanent long-term weight loss and a healthier you. In fact low GI (glycemic index) food has grown in such popularity that there are now plenty of resources both on and offline for information, from general info on the glycemic index to lists of foods with their glycemic index values.

But let me be quite clear, the glycemic index of foods is extremely important not just from the perspective of losing weight, but also in getting us to understand the cause of a whole host of health related issues associated with obesity such as diabetes, arthritis, metabolic syndrome x, high blood pressure, heart disease and a host of degenerative diseases associated with excess weight.

So, before launching headfirst into the glycemic index food list, it’s important that you have at least a broad grasp of the glycemic index, how it works and how it can help you to achieve a healthier lifestyle. You can get a ton of free information on my specialist site on the Glycemic Index or search for my other articles on the subject.

Business Travel Insurance Policy – Getting The Right One

If you travel regularly on business, you should always carry a business travel insurance policy. This is essentially just a insurance policy for traveling that is customized to the needs of the business traveler. Nearly all of these insurance policies for business travelers will include coverage of any travel arrangements, luggage loss, and rental car accidents.

While it is possible to purchase a policy that will cover a single trip, for regular business travels, annual business travel insurance policies are typically a better deal. Insurance plans for business travel are usually cheaper than regular insurance plans, depending on coverage needs. It is also cheaper to purchase domestic business travel insurance plans than insurance coverage for international business travels.

Typically policies for business travels will include up to $50,000 in benefits whether it is a one-time policy or an annual policy. But regular insurance plans often caps coverage at $25,000.

Luggage coverage goes beyond just checked luggage. It also covers laptops, cell phones, pagers, projectors, and any other equipment the business traveler typically carries.

If the trip gets interrupted by bad weather or mechanical problems the business policy holder can cancel the trip and be reimbursed for the cost of the trip.

This plan also includes trip cancellation insurance which is much like regular travel insurance’s trip interruption coverage. However, business policies usually include more coverage, such as allowing for changes in accommodations to complete the trip.

Funds are provided for anything lost on the trip. This can be very important if passports or tickets are lost during the trip.

You may also be able to get some legal services in case of accusations of crime by you or crime committed against you. Generally luggage or equipment that is stolen is covered. In some cases even kidnapping ransoms will be replaced by your business insurance policy.

One of the coverage benefits you’ll want to look for in your coverage is medical expenses. You’ll want to know for sure whether all medical expenses are covered or just accidents and emergencies. In particular, find out what kind of coverage is provided for illness. Many travel medical insurance policies cover emergency evacuations, but many do not cover other medical expenses. You’ll have to decide how much medical coverage you need.

Fortunately, even with all of the available coverage options, business travel insurance is generally quite affordable. Some other features that may be included with your business insurance plan include road side assistance and life insurance.

By And Large, Business Travel Is Not A Pleasurable Experience

Business travel has become so common that a considerable proportion of the corporate world of America is spending more time in airplanes and hotels than on their couches or in their automobiles.

According to a recent estimate, about 40 million adults in the US travel on business at least once a year to a location about 50 miles from home. More than 20 percent of the trips made by African Americans, for instance, are related to their work.

Those who do not need to travel frequently on business consider business travel glamorous and exciting. However, in reality, business travel is often arduous.

It is tough physically, tough on the family, and especially tough on the pockets of businesspersons who do not have the luxury of generous expense accounts to take care of their travel expenses.

In addition, those who travel on business regularly, quickly wise up to the fact that a stress-free and safe journey requires the smooth functioning of a number of interconnected factors, which includes the vagaries of the weather.

According to a study conducted recently, monitoring business travel trends:

– 58 percent of business travel is undertaken for association meetings and conferences,

– 43 percent comprising of business travel made by individuals,

– and 29 percent for corporate meetings.

The study also identified some of the most popular destinations within the US for business travel. They are:

– Washington, D.C.,

– New York,

– Los Angeles/Long Beach,

– Chicago,

– Atlanta,

– Boston,

– Houston,

– Minneapolis-St. Paul,

– Detroit,

– and Dallas.

Irrespective of what the destination is, business travel is seldom an enjoyable experience. Some companies will allow their business travelers the opportunity to enjoy their travel surroundings but this is usually short lived depending on the demands of the trip.

Business travelers, who have to make frequent trips, need special facilities to ease the hassles of traveling. Airlines and hotels are increasing the levels of services they provide in order to meet the growing demands of business travelers:

Usually, business travelers research fares on their own and make their reservations online. According to a survey, it was found that only 32 percent of corporate travelers used the services of travel agents for their reservation needs, while the rest, 68 percent, preferred using the internet or online services to plan at least some part of their business traveling arrangements.

Business travelers are usually technologically conversant; hence, choose to handle all their traveling arrangements through the Internet, limiting the necessity of having to interact with travel agents and professionals dealing with customer service.

Most tourism related sites offer one-stop travel facilities for reservations of flights, booking rooms in hotels, and providing transportation on the ground.

Major airlines like Delta and American have included travel-friendly features like locating cheap fares, finding economical hotel accommodation, and hiring cars on a rental basis inexpensively on their websites.

Travelers, thus, can make arrangements for an entire business trip, which includes seating preferences, confirming special food requests, and a text message or e-mail verifying their flight status and information about the departure timings with a few clicks of the mouse button.
Most of these sites provide boarding passes that can be printed out and online check-ins within 24 hours of the departure of the flight.

At the airport, those travelers in a hurry can take advantage of check-in kiosks in order not to have to wait in long lines, and get their boarding passes and their seating information.

Frequent Flyer Miles, Automatic Upgrades, and Comfortable Seating:

One of the biggest perks of traveling frequently on business is the facility of accumulating points, which can be exchanged for vacations. Travelers, therefore, are always on the look out for hotels offering generous points facilities.

Frequent air travelers also favor automatic upgrades and comfort inside the airplane, such as generous legroom and additional storage facilities overhead. Business traveler programs like EliteAccess provided by Continental Airlines offer comforts like guarantees of no-middle-seat and upgrades to the first class if possible.

Getting Value for Money:

Companies are constantly curtailing overhead expenses by cutting down on the travel allowances they give their executives, while business travelers look for ways in which they can maximize their allowances to the fullest.

For example, several hotels offer free breakfasts, while others provide complimentary facilities such as a welcoming snack or allowing their guests to make free long distance and local calls. Many hotels also offer free newspapers, tea and coffee.

Feeling at Home Far Away from Home:

Business travelers are so frequently away from home that they look for services that replicate their home comforts.

Although hotels are selected primarily for value and location, but business travelers expect home-like comforts like high quality toiletries, comfortable bedding, choices in beverages, cable TV and films, broadband internet access, exercise and convenient check-in/out facilities, and so on.

5 Tips For a Smooth First Business Travel Experience

Travel help from business travel experts is as good as meeting a business tycoon for management tips. Learning from them will bring smoothness in your trip.

In today’s working world, business operations have become more global. There are many business travel opportunities for the newly hired or promoted employee. While grabbing these travel opportunities a must, first time business travellers like you should travel smarter.

Sort Things Out
For first timers, it is best to be aware that you have two major classifications of the things that you will be bringing. One is your work-related things and the other one is your personal stuff.

Therefore, while choosing a light carryon luggage, it is also suggested that it is multi pocketed so you can enjoy more spaces.

Be Organized
In order to have an organized business travel, create a travel checklist of the work-related things that you need like your laptop, flash drive, printed reports on folders, brochures, calculators and the like. This will protect you from forgetting important or urgent tasks that your boss asked from you.

Make sure that you brought a good number of your business cards. Businesses can start with your plane mate or some other people you have bumped in the airport lobby.

Also check the lifespan of the batteries of your communication device so you won’t miss any important office correspondences and instructions.

Be Budget Conscious
If your office allows you to take care of your own transportation and reservation as part of your per diem during your business travel, the internet is your tool to check online for the best flight and hotel deals in Europe or Asia available.

Look for package deals, promo flights, and reasonably-priced business hotels or even nearby hostels. Tips would be to ask if the published rates are inclusive of applicable taxes. Also ask for the rates of late check-ins so you can include it in your travel budget.

Always Be Prepared
For your personal belongings particularly your clothing, it is best that you have brought clothes with business colors and shades like black, dark blue, brown, white and gray. This will allow you to be flexible in doing some mix and match so you maintain your being presentable as well.

In the business world, there are times that first impression lasts. As first time business travellers, you may not be familiar or accustomed to the foods of your destination, it is highly recommended to have anti-histamine with you all the time. This will help you stop allergic reactions instantly in order not to disrupt or disturb your meeting schedules and appointments.

Follow Airport Rules
Your liquids, including gels, in the array of your toiletries should be in zip-lock plastics as it is mandatory in any airports. It is also best to use slip-on shoes going to the airport so it would not be time consuming for you to untie and tie your shoelaces during security checks.

With these travel help gathered from seasoned business travellers, you will be ready for a remarkable business travel that will widen your perspective of the career you have chosen and loved. This might be the start of a series of world travel experience from work to leisure.

Business Travel Insurance

Anyone that travels a lot should consider travel insurance, but those that travel for business often overlook the importance of this protection. Business travel insurance is simply a good idea because it can provide you with the protection that you need whether you are traveling just a short or long distance away from home. You never know when you are going to need the protection that insurance can provide, so you should look into business travel insurance before you go on your next trip.

The great thing about business travel insurance is that the individual can purchase it or a company can purchase it. Many companies are choosing to purchase the insurance for all of their employees that travel. This is a very economical way to buy the coverage as many companies can offer bulk buy discounts. This can be a particularly good idea for companies that host a lot of conferences, meetings, team building events, training courses, product launches, and the like. Many businesses offer corporate hospitality outings and the like, and even on these fun getaways employees should be protected and business travel insurance is a great way to get that protection.

If you happen to be an employee that travels to a lot of business oriented annual general meetings, exhibitions, seminars, or conventions and you aren’t provided with business travel insurance you can buy it yourself. The coverage is not at all expensive, and you may even be able to purchase the coverage at the same time that you plan an event or plan your travel, which will make it convenient to purchase. When you purchase this protection you can go on your business travels and not worry about what would happen if you were robbed, if your luggage was lost, or if you needed medical attention in an area where your usual medical or dental insurance was not valid.

Many of us think about travel insurance when we are going on vacation or visiting exotic vacations, but this is not the only time when you need the protection that this type of insurance can provide. Business travel insurance is just as important as the insurance that you would buy when flying across the world for an exotic vacation or honeymoon because there is just as much opportunity for you to encounter health problems or circumstances that you just did not plan for. Why should you be any less equipped to handle these problems on a business trip than you would be when you are on vacation? When you leave home you should feel safe, secure, and confident in your abilities to handle any situation and with business travel insurance you can do this.

If you don’t travel often or you only travel once a year you can opt to purchase your business travel insurance for just one trip. All you have to do is disclose when you will be travelling, where you will be going, and when you will be returning. This is generally very affordable and will offer you the protection that you should have on your one trip. If you travel all the time for work you can choose to buy your business travel insurance for the whole year. While this is more expensive in the beginning, it is cheaper over the course of the year than it would be to purchase the coverage every time you go away on travel. Many times there are also different levels of coverage to choose from, so you can choose from very basic coverage to very extensive coverage, based on your needs. When you purchase the travel business insurance you may want to consider the areas that you travel to as well as what sort of coverage your other insurance coverage may provide as this information will help you determine what sort of coverage you need.

It used to be more difficult to buy travel insurance, and that is why many people simply opted not to do it. In many cases you had to go right to an insurance agent and you had to fill out a ton of paperwork, or you could go to a travel agent and do the same thing. Now, you can purchase your business travel insurance right along with your other travel needs such as but not limited to your event planning services, your car rental services, lodging, transportation, and airfare. This is very convenient and allows for those that didn’t want to bother with the coverage before because of the hassle to purchase the benefits of travel insurance. Next time you receive notice that you have to travel for your job, why not look into travel business insurance and see what protection it can offer you? It’s better to have the protection and not need it than need it and not have it!

Free Brokerage on Index CFDs – How Do CFD Brokers Make Their Money?

When anyone starts trading financial products for the first time, the trading costs involved are one of the most important criteria to consider. That is what makes trading index CFDs such a great product as they are generally commission free.

So the question most people ask is how can CFD brokers allow people to trade index CFDs commission free?

The reason CFD brokers allow you to trade index CFDs commission free is the fact that they have a spread on the index that you are trading. The spread is the difference between the first buyer and the first seller.

If we were to have a look at the Aussie 200 index for example the spread may be two or three points. The first buyer might be at 4000 and the first seller at 4002. As you can see there is a two point spread and so if we traded at one dollar per point then buying at 4002 and selling at 4000 would result in a two dollar loss. That two dollar loss is in effect your brokerage.

Trading Index CFDs with a small spread is critical

So as you can see there is no commission when trading an index CFD as in this example, but you will notice that if you got in and out when the market had not moved you would suffer a $2 loss. So whilst you may consider that you are getting the product commission free you are in effect being charged a small amount of brokerage. The great thing about this product is that the spread on an index CFD is usually kept to a minimum.

Free brokerage or $100 round trip?

There is no doubt that when you first starting out an index CFD at $1 per point is a brilliant option to consider. However, you can begin to see if you traded 25 contracts at 2 point spread your effective brokerage would be $50 to buy and $50 to sell making it a $100 round-trip.

Given the recent volatility of the Australian market and worldwide markets it becomes easy to see why one dollar per point is a very viable option. Even on the Australian market, which may move 100 points a day, at $1 per point you could be making or losing $100 a day.

Beware excessive overnight financing charges

The other reason CFD brokers are able to provide an index CFD commission free is that they charge an overnight financing rate which may be as high as the RBA rate plus or minus 4%. This means if you are holding an index CFD trade for a year you would be charged 4.25% +4% which equals 8.25% per annum calculated back as a daily rate. Always keep in mind that this financing rate is charged on your total position size which means it can get quite expensive allowing the CFD broker to pocket that finance.