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Anyone who has ever visited the Virgin Islands has some sense of the evolution of this tropical island chain. Like most islands in the Caribbean the islands were first settled by natives mistakenly called “Indians” by Christopher Columbus. WhenColumbus discovered these islands back in 1493, he called them the Virgin Islands because he sensed they were virginal and ripe for the picking. Some sources use a myth about St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins as the source for naming the islands. With the Spanish intrusion, slaves were introduced and a lively slave trade conducted.
Diseases the Europeans introduced to the native population wiped out two thirds of the native Indians. A slave rebellion in July 1858 freed the slaves but also restricted labor for the plantations. As a result the islands economy soured and plantation life became a thing of the past. Conditions improved slowly. Three islands in the chain were purchased by the US In 1917 and became the US Virgin Islands. A fourth island was added in the 1990s. Britain possessed seventy islands in the chain and Spain possessed four islands in the chain. The whole Virgin island chain went through a period of depression brought on by natural disasters and changing economies in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
It wasn’t until the mid 1950s that a new tourist industry was developed out of the ashes of lost dreams of gold and prosperity. National Parks dedicated to preserving and restoring the natural beauty of the islands were a big draw. Tourism remains a multi-million dollar industry for the Virgin Islands.
US Virgin Islands
St. Croix celebrates their emancipation from slavery every July 3rd. US History is tied to this island in two ways. Alexander Hamilton, our first Secretary of the Treasury was born here. Many Americans can trace their ancestors here and it gave people of color an ideal for freeing themselves. Black history tours are very popular.
British Virgin Islands
Financial services and offshore companies reign here. Tourism is also a big draw. Most tourists visit Virgin Gorda for its spectacular boulder formation known as “The Baths.” Others may visit St. Kitts which is actually an independent island in the chain.
Spanish Virgin Islands
Actually the two islands named as the Spanish Virgin Islands, Vieques and Culebra are now considered part of Puerto Rico and belong to the US. They came a part of the treaty the US signed with Spain in 1898. These islands are known for their great fishing industries and activities.
If you want to stay current on the latest news and trends regarding finance, it’s important to access a variety of viewpoints. Simply reading the financial news isn’t enough. Financial blogs can help you stay informed and give you some different perspectives. Here are the top five blogs that will help to increase your financial intelligence.
MoneyTalks News is a popular and versatile blog that covers topics of interest to the average person as well as business owners. There are lots of practical tips for saving money, investing and finding the best deals. The blog focuses a lot on practical, everyday financial decisions such as insurance, wireless phone services and saving money for retirement.
Money Crashers is a blog that features articles and reviews on everything related to personal finance. You will find useful reviews of credit card reward programs, ways to save money over the holidays and how to choose the right bank account. There is also career advice for people of all ages. Money Crashers publishes lots of new material every day, so it’s a good idea to visit this blog frequently.
Investor Junkie is a good blog to follow if you’re looking for solid investment advice.
There are so many investment options and styles that it can be confusing, but this blog helps to clarify everything. You will find a variety of investment reviews, tools and resources covering everything from stocks and options to online investment platforms. Reading this blog on a regular basis can help you to gain a more thorough understanding about all of your investment choices.
As the name suggests, this is a blog that’s mainly focused on identifying bargains. It’s also a good source of information about other financial blogs, and it generously recommends lots of competing blogs on the home page. Mostly, however, the blog covers the myriad ways you can save money, such as cash back programs, gas cards, coupons and much more.
It’s hard to be financially successful if you don’t know how to create and stick to a budget. Budgets are Sexy gives you all the information and resources you need to become savvy about budgets. It helps you find the budget that’s right for your circumstances so that you can begin to take control of your financial future.
Your financial history is often obtained by a single three digit number. The FICO score is a culmination of several factors that show overall credit history. It’s most likely one of the most important factors in your financial portfolio. It’s the first thing a bank will look for in the home mortgage or car loan process. Some employers will also look at this important number during hiring phase.
How is a FICO Score Calculated?
The FICO score was created by Fair Isaac Corporation and is a score that combines several pieces of your credit history information. Scores use a combination of credit history and usage. This complex scoring method also takes in account the length of credit history. Individuals with new credit should take note that it will take a few years for the score to go up. The average credit score is approximately 690. Over 37% of adults admit they don’t know their credit score. It’s important to know what makes up the scoring model:
• Payment history
This is the most substantial factor in scoring at 35-40%. Payment history takes into account both positive and negative payments. Derogatory items such as collections are factored in based on the first initial late payment
• Length of time
How long credit was used overall is an important factor. It takes up roughly 15% of the scoring model.
• Type of credit usage
The percentage of revolving and installment debt can be a factor in this percentage that takes up another 10-15%.
• Debt owed
Between 30-35% of the FICO score is obtained from this piece of information. The amount of debt owed shouldn’t exceed an appropriate debt-to-income ratio.
• New credit authorizations
This area makes up roughly 10% of scoring. Hard pulls or credit applications show in the report in this area.
Additional FICO rules
The FICO score can remain unchanged or go up and down rapidly depending on credit habits. Each individual credit bureau will calculate the score using a slightly different formula. The difference may be a few points between each report. Your FICO score will change over time depending on credit habits.
The Importance of a High Score
Obtaining a high FICO score is a result of managing credit in a healthy way. Employers and banks will be more ready to hire and lend since it shows responsibility. There is a general rule that anything over 720 is considered prime or excellent credit. Different types of debt will have an impact on the score. Improving credit will require a healthy combination of installment and revolving credit history. Revolving credit is usually a credit card of unsecured debt and will have the most immediate impact on credit history. Installment debt is considered secured and could be a student loan or home mortgage.
The financial services industry is fast becoming one of the most complex and regulated areas of business. Being able to keep up with rules that seem ever-changing and still maintain a high level of customer service is getting harder and harder for many brokerage firms and others involved in high finance. When an office feels it needs assistance with how to better understand and manage their operations, they call on David Johnson and the experts at Cane Bay Partners to help them find solutions to their problems.
As more companies realize the importance of having a trusted partner to help guide them through the maze of rules that equal compliance, Cane Bay Partners will be there to share their expertise and help these businesses grow.