Archive for October 2013

Local Financial Planner with Four Seasons Wealth Management to Volunteer at St. Louis Financial Planning Day

St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) October 09, 2013

St. Louis financial planner, Travis Freeman, will join dozens of local planners who will volunteer their time and expertise to answer consumers’ financial questions at the St. Louis Financial Planning Day on Saturday October 19th at St. Louis Community College Forest Park.

Freeman, who is a member of the Board of Directors for the Financial Planning Association of Greater St. Louis and Chairman of the Financial Planning Day committee, will be among the financial planners who setup at their own tables to meet one-on-one with attendees and answer their individual questions on budgeting, getting out of debt, income taxes, dealing with mortgages, paying for college, estate planning and insurance, among many other topics. The event will also feature a series of classroom-style educational workshops addressing key personal finance topics. The advice will be offered on a “no strings attached” basis and planners will not give out business cards or sell financial products or services. Freeman considers the event part of his annual charitable work.

St. Louis Financial Planning Day is organized by the City of St. Louis in partnership with the FPA of Greater St. Louis and is part of Financial Planning Days – a first-of-its-kind national initiative to provide free financial education and programming to people across the country. Financial Planning Days was created by four national non-profit organizations – Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Financial Planning Association, Foundation for Financial Planning, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

TO PARTICIPATE: St. Louis Financial Planning Day is free and open to the public. Members of the news media are invited to attend the event and interview the organizers. The event will be held on Saturday, October 19th at St. Louis Community College Forest Park, located at 5600 Oakland Ave, St. Louis MO 63110 at the Student Center Building Tower E. Events will begin at 9 a.m. and will run until 1 p.m.

Free online registration and additional information about the St. Louis Financial Planning Day is available at, or by calling toll free at 877-861-7826.

Travis Freeman is a Financial Planner with and Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. He may be reached at 314-432-2229.

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IIUSA Supports Inter-Agency Collaboration to Protect the Integrity of the EB-5 Program


Chicago, IL (PRWEB) October 03, 2013

The Association to Invest In the USA (IIUSA), the trade association representing more than 100 EB-5 Regional Centers, supports the recent action of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to stop a Regional Center in Texas from allegedly defrauding EB-5 investors. IIUSA also applauds the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for its cooperation with the SEC in the matter.

“Proper oversight, transparency, compliance with – and enforcement of – all applicable securities, anti-fraud and immigration laws and regulations are essential to maintain the confidence of all industry stakeholders and ensure that the EB-5 program continues to bring capital and job creation to American communities,” said Peter D. Joseph, Executive Director of IIUSA.

“Our position is clear: efficient and effective enforcement of U.S. securities laws is as essential for the EB-5 program as it is for any investment vehicle,” said K. David Andersson, President of IIUSA.

The EB-5 Regional Center economic development program successfully spurs U.S. job creation and economic growth by attracting foreign direct investment in the United States. A comprehensive peer-reviewed economic study found that from 2010-2011, investments made through the EB-5 program contributed $ 2.2 billion to U.S. GDP and supported over 28,000 jobs at no cost to taxpayers. IIUSA’s members account for 95 percent of all capital raised through the EB-5 program.

IIUSA has a track record of working cooperatively with USCIS and other regulatory agencies to strengthen the program through effective enforcement of anti-fraud, securities and immigration law. For example, IIUSA recently filed an amicus brief supporting SEC action to stop a Regional Center and developer from making misleading claims about investment opportunities.

Other initiatives supported by IIUSA include:

An “Investor Alert” jointly issued by the SEC and USCIS that provides prospective EB-5 investors with information on conducting due diligence evaluations of EB-5 securities offerings.

Distribution of guidance published by FINRA for broker-dealers marketing EB-5 related securities.

Support for several important reforms included in the comprehensive immigration reform legislation that recently passed the full Senate that would strengthen law enforcement and national security protections.

“Investments made through EB-5 Regional Centers provide a new, vital source of funding for local economic development projects, often in partnership with local governments and economic development agencies. These successful projects are revitalizing communities across the country, creating and supporting jobs, infrastructure and services,” noted Joseph. “Protecting the integrity of the program is critical to continue bringing jobs and economic benefits to cities and towns across the country.”


Founded in 2005, the Association to Invest In the USA (IIUSA) is the national not-for-profit industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program, representing well over 100 Regional Center members that account for over 95 percent of the capital flowing through the Program. IIUSA represents the industry in government and public affairs, telling the story of how the EB-5 Program has become a fundamental part of U.S. economic development policy – with operations covering advocacy, industry development, and education. An essential part of IIUSA’s mission is to stimulate economic development and job growth through continued success of the program as well as advance and maintain industry standards and best practices.

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Vocus, PRWeb, and Publicity Wire are trademarks or registered trademarks of Vocus, Inc. or Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC.

Online Broker Firstrade Introducing New Research & Tools

Firstrade Launches New Research & Tools Provided by Morningstar

New York, NY (PRWEB) October 02, 2013

Firstrade Securities Inc., a leading online brokerage firm founded in 1985, today announced the launch of an enhanced Research and Tools section of its website with analyst research, tools, and comprehensive market data provided by Morningstar, a leading provider of independent investment research.

“We know research tools are crucial for investors to build up a strong and profitable investment portfolio, and Firstrade aspires to provide our customers with the most powerful and user-friendly tools. This improvement is an exciting moment for both Firstrade and our customers,” says John Liu, CEO of Firstrade, “Firstrade will never stop improving for customers, so stay tuned for more advancements soon to come.”

Firstrade’s enhanced Research and Tools section helps customers stay on top of the markets with new investment research features, including Morningstar Analyst Reports and ratings on stocks and ETFs, in-depth performance data, competitive analysis, and more, all with an easier-to-read layout. News offerings also received an upgrade with more sources like Morningstar,, Zacks, and Benzinga, to help customers stay up-to-date on current events and make better-informed decisions.

Firstrade also worked with Morningstar to develop a Sectors & Industries tool that, combined with the new Map of the Market, provides investors with a set of tailor-made tools to view the market through different perspectives. Investors can analyze performance data from the broad sector level all the way down to the company level. Firstrade has also expanded the stock, ETF, and mutual fund screeners with more data to further empower investors.

“We are pleased that Firstrade selected Morningstar as part of its redesigned website,” Kunal Kapoor, head of client solutions for Morningstar, said. “Our mission is to create great products that help investors reach their financial goals. We share a common commitment with Firstrade to help investors by providing them with insightful analysis, effective tools, and comprehensive data.”

About Firstrade Securities Inc.

Firstrade is a leading online brokerage firm offering a full line of investment products and tools to help investors take control of their financial future. Since its founding in 1985, Firstrade has been committed to providing high value and quality service to our customers. Combining proprietary trading technology, a highly intuitive user interface, outstanding customer service, and mobility applications, Firstrade is a comprehensive solution for all of your investing needs. Firstrade is a member of FINRA/SIPC. For more information, visit

About Morningstar, Inc.

Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions. Morningstar provides data on approximately 433,000 offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on nearly 10 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its registered investment advisor subsidiaries and has approximately $ 166 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, 2013. The company has operations in 27 countries.

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Making a Will – 10 Common Misconceptions

Making a Will Online was Easy

(PRWEB UK) 3 October 2013

With the launch of Free Will Month, the annual event which raises awareness of the importance of writing a Will and promotes the opportunity of leaving a gift for a favourite charity, Over50choices reveals their 10 Will writing misconceptions aimed at dispelling common myths and confusion surrounding the legal process of making a Will.

Recent figures suggest almost 60% of UK adults do not have a Will in place which includes 1 in 3 over 55s who are seemingly happy to leave the division of their estate in the hands of the law rather than being certain that their wishes are adhered to and subsequently that their families are protected.

To help promote the importance of having a legally valid Will in place and the associated risks, the guide highlights 10 Will Writing Misconceptions, focusing on some of the key pitfalls that have led to families throughout the UK losing out on an often much needed inheritance.

The 10 Will Writing Misconceptions:

1.    The closest family member decides how assets are divided

Without a Will, the deceased’s estate is divided according to the law of Intestacy; a set of statutory rules that decide who inherits what. These rules are fairly antiquated and do not take into account the more complex lives people lead these days so could result in the inheritance being shared amongst more distant family members.

2.    A Will is unnecessary for married couples

A surviving spouse does not automatically inherit everything. Particular rules may dictate that part of the estate will be left to children with the spouse receiving:

    Personal possessions
    The first £250,000 of the estate
    A life interest in the remaining estate

3.    A long term partner can inherit everything

A common law spouse has no automatic rights regardless of the number of years they have lived with the deceased. Quite simply the law does not recognise ‘common law’ relationships.

4.    A Will does not change through marriage

A marriage will invalidate any previously written Will unless a specific clause is added to the Will called an ‘in contemplation of marriage’ which acknowledges that the previous provision still stands.

5.    A family member can be written out of a Will

Although strictly speaking a person can decide who will and won’t inherit from their Will, a family member who would naturally expect to receive an inheritance can under the Inheritance (Provision for families and Dependants) Act challenge the Will if they believe they should have received something.

6.    An Executor of a Will cannot be a Beneficiary

An Executor of a Will who is the person nominated to sort out the finances in accordance with the deceased’s wishes can also be a beneficiary. It is the person who witnesses the Will that cannot benefit from the estate.

7.    All debts die with the deceased

Outstanding debts need to be paid so the estate cannot be distributed according to the Will until they have been settled. If there are insufficient funds in the estate, the debtors will take what they can and the remaining debt will be written off.

8.    All outstanding contracts end

If a contract has been agreed prior to death, it still stands and has to be followed through by the Executor.

9.    To be legal, a Will has to be written by a solicitor

A Will can be made through a Solicitor, using online legal services like those provided by Over50choices or via a DIY template. It is therefore not a requirement to use a solicitor but it may be advisable to have a solicitor or qualified specialist check the contents to ensure the Will is legally valid.

10.    The solicitor making a Will has to carry out probate

Solicitors who write the Will frequently offer to hold it for free for safekeeping in the hope that they will automatically be first in line when it comes to probate, the name given to the process of sorting out the deceased’s affairs. There is no requirement for the same solicitor to carry out probate so the family or Executor of the Will can choose how they want to proceed when the time comes.

In addition to providing comprehensive information about Wills and Probate, funeral planning experts Over50choices also offer free Wills to customers who buy a Prepaid Funeral Plan through their comparison website. To find out more, go to

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