This Tool Helps Find the Perfect Real Estate Agent for You

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As housing demand continues to grow and buyers are putting offers on homes as quickly as they come on the market, Homes.com wanted to create a streamlined process to make building your real estate team easier than ever before. As every homebuyer and seller knows, having trusted real estate professionals on your side is one of the most important steps in the homebuying or selling journey. But finding those professionals sometimes can feel overwhelming. In order to find an agent that best suits your needs, Homes.com has introduced, and upgraded, our “Agent Search” feature.

couple searching on computercouple searching on computer

Start building your real estate team now with Homes.com!

Now, buyers and sellers can find an agent that’s most suitable for their specific needs. Not only can you find trusted agents in your area fluent in your language or with special knowledge of different real estate practices, but you can also identify agents with rapid response time, those who are Homes.com preferred, and even read through endorsements from other buyers the agent has worked with in the past. We’ve also introduced a “Search by Specialty” function to ensure you find the right agent for your journey. 

Search by Language

As a champion of diversity and inclusion, Homes.com introduced the “Search by Language” feature in order to provide buyers and sellers with a real estate professional who will be able to communicate with them clearly and in their preferred language.

search by language homes.comsearch by language homes.com

In addition to narrowing down your ideal real estate agent by language, you’ll also be able to identify those who are “Rapid Responders.” “Rapid Responder” eligibility requires an agent or office to have a dedicated specialist answering phones during normal business hours,” says Chris Horton, Director of Product for user experience. “For home searchers, what this “Rapid Responder” credential means is that they will easily be able to speak to their agent during their homebuying or renting process.” 

Search by Specialty

There are plenty of reasons people may be looking to move, so if you’re looking for an agent with a specific specialty, then this is the way to go. Homes.com provides its users with a way to narrow their agent search through the “Search by Specialty” feature. If you’re looking to sell your home, you can find trusted agents within that field. Service members can find agents who specialize in military family home search, and you can even filter by agents who specialize in finding senior communities for those who are searching for their retirement home. Other specializations include new construction, property management for those who like to invest, and luxury homes to make your team tailored to you.

search by specialty homes.comsearch by specialty homes.com

Start Your Home Search Journey Today!

With Homes.com, your home search has never been easier. We’ll be with you from every step of the way. You can start browsing available properties on our homepage, search for the ideal real estate team using our new search functionality, find the best lender near you to assist in your home financing, and even visit our How To section to find an entire step-by-step guide on the buying, selling, renting, or financing process.


Content Marketing Assistant at Homes.com | See more posts by this author

As Homes.com’s content marketing assistant, Sydney gets to combine one of her favorite pastimes with her job– keeping up with pop culture. Outside of work, she enjoys stepping away from her phone and computer and spending time with her friends, whether it’s just hanging out or traveling. Trying new foods, going snowboarding, and long road trips are some of her other favorite things to do, but what does she loves the most? When people read Homes.com’s blog articles, of course!

Source: homes.com

Client Appreciation Event: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Film Premier

Scottsdale, Arizona – December 15th 2017

Credit Absolute, a credit counseling company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, specializing in credit repair and education, has helped hundreds of families and business owners achieve their financial goals by working with them to improve their credit scores and get approved for mortgages, auto loans, business loans and more.

On December 15th 2017, as part of their 5 year anniversary, Credit Absolute hosted an event for the premier of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The event, organized by Derick Vogel, Founder and CEO of Credit Absolute, was an effort to show the company’s appreciation for their clients and referral partners who have become a part of their growing family.

“Through building trust and friendships, we have been able to grow and expand our business over the past 5 years…[and] have been blessed with 3 consecutive “Best Credit Counseling in Scottsdale” awards.” – Derick Vogel

Credit Absolute also boasts an A+ rating on BBB and has been chosen over the last two years by Yelp as having the best Yelp reviews award.

At the Star Wars event, Credit Absolute had a meet and greet with Star Wars fans and actors. For the event they were also kind enough to bring a real life R2D2 robot for the guests. Derick Vogel was happy that Credit Absolute was able to give back to their family and members with this small gesture.

He went on to say, “I look forward to being a part of our [local] community more and helping those in need. There is a lot of misinformation out there and we will continue to build our awareness and coaching with fundamentals to help teach more on how to protect their credit and financial futures.”

Derick Vogel also created a Thank You video, featuring R2D2, during the event which can be seen below:

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The company will continue serving families and business owners in Arizona and the rest of the country while giving back to their community. While they primarily work with individuals who have low credit scores, many of their clients also have good, if not great, credit scores but still want to increase their score higher in an effort to achieve a lower interest rate on their mortgages or loans.

For more information about credit repair, how it works or how it can help you, please contact Credit Absolute for more information.

Source: creditabsolute.com

Motley Fool vs Seeking Alpha – Which Investment Research Site Is Better?

The Internet is a gold mine of information, and stock market news, analysis, and research websites like The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha make it easy to invest and trade like the pros. Whether you’re looking for stock picks, ETFs to invest in, or broad investing and retirement strategies, both The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha can help.

Although both resources are geared toward audiences in a similar space, they are noticeably different from one another at even a quick glance at their homepages.

While The Motley Fool offers advice for new, intermediate, and advanced investors alike, Seeking Alpha generally targets the intermediate to advanced investor with in-depth, analytical news and market analysis.

Whether you’re just beginning to research stocks and investments or you’re an old pro, it’s worth considering both of these content-rich platforms. You can decide whether you want to browse each for free or spring for a paid subscription to an even richer trove of analysis and specific investment picks.

Key Features

Both The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha are packed with content, including much that’s available for free, as well as premium content behind a subscription paywall. Here’s a closer look at the platforms’ key features.

Audience and Voice

Although both are stock market news, analysis, and research websites, these two platforms differ markedly in their intended audiences and editorial voice.

Seeking Alpha provides in-depth analysis and a good deal of crowdsourced content from expert authors geared to intermediate and advanced retail and professional investors.

The Motley Fool caters to all types of investors, from beginners to advanced traders, broadening its appeal with a humorous bent to its content.

The Motley Fool’s Audience and Voice

The Motley Fool’s stated purpose is “to make the world smarter, happier, and richer.” To empower all types of investors, it takes a fun and lighthearted approach to financial education, investing ideas, and trending news.

The site’s content includes:

  • Articles about current stock picks
  • Investing basics
  • Stock and industry news and trackers
  • Retirement resources
  • Personal finance resources
  • Trending news
  • Podcasts

Visitors to The Motley Fool find relevant, targeted, and academic content laced with a bit of humor that makes the material more accessible to beginning and intermediate investors.

Seeking Alpha’s Audience and Voice

Seeking Alpha aggregates crowdsourced content to broadcast the latest stock news and analysis. That means a large number of individuals and companies submit content to the site, typically written by experienced analysts and investors.

Seeking Alpha, in general, seems to be geared more to traders who are already somewhat knowledgeable in stocks and investments.

Visit the Seeking Alpha website, and you’re greeted by a rather bland page that highlights the latest stock numbers, trending articles and news, dividend investing highlights, stock ideas, and links to several newsletters, without all the bells and whistles. The presentation is largely algorithm-driven, making it easier to get an overview of the entire market.


Content

In addition to having different editorial tones and catering to different audiences, The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha contain different kinds of content and advertising. Seeking Alpha emphasizes the most current developments and analysis from Wall Street and always features the latest news and trending content.

Active investors and day traders may not find the content on The Motley Fool as timely or actionable as they need or want. However, the evergreen content and featured analysis and advice are high-quality and intelligent, and The Motley Fool has a solid history of performance with their investment picks.

The Motley Fool’s Content

What you won’t find at The Motley Fool are market-timing tricks or get-rich-quick schemes. Instead, you’ll learn how to invest for the long term.

Over time, The Motley Fool has recommended dozens of outperforming stocks that have delivered outstanding gains for investors, including Amazon, Starbucks, Mastercard, and Netflix. The content generally has the long term in mind when recommending when to buy or sell stocks or handing out advice.

No company can choose the right investments every time, and The Motley Fool is no exception. Investing in stocks is inherently risky. There are dozens of online reviews about The Fool’s picks that performed poorly. However, there are just as many that say the investment advice users received was right on the money.

Some users are turned off by The Motley Fool’s advertising of its premium services. It’s not shy when it comes to promoting its past successes through email or on-site ads that sometimes make it sound like anyone who uses their services will come out a winner. Although their advisory services can help make you a more successful investor, there are no guarantees of investing success.

Seeking Alpha’s Content

For the most part, Seeking Alpha’s content targets intermediate to advanced investors, with articles that provide an in-depth view of investment valuation theory and market opinion. The site is also a source for news on earning calls and news for individual companies

Unless you’re knowledgeable about investment strategies and market analysis, you may be a bit overwhelmed by the content and advice from Seeking Alpha’s industry analysts.

One of the best features of Seeking Alpha is the vast amount of financial data on the site, which spans years. You’ll find a wealth of suggestions and strategies stretched across multiple categories, detailed company information and earnings estimates, and a huge number of free news pieces and articles.

A handy tool that sets Seeking Alpha apart is its ETF screener, which is great for long-term investors building out a diversified portfolio in addition to trading individual stocks.

Seeking Alpha also allows you to create your own portfolios for filtering content by investments relevant to you. The site includes historical ratings for its authors and allows you to select and follow contributors with an excellent track record.

In the Terms of Use, Seeking Alpha does remind investors that not all investment strategies are best for all investors and that they should discuss decisions with a financial advisor before investing.

One major drawback of Seeking Alpha is the fact that its stock analysis is largely restricted to subscribers. It also requires a lot of reading and self-directed analysis to learn all you need to know about investing in the right stocks.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Seeking Alpha publishes content from a variety of authors, including both professional and individual investors. The variety of opinions is laudable, but it opens the door for the possibility of bias or lack of appropriate disclosures, with some commentators seeming to write in support of their own personal positions.

Contributors to the site must be approved and vetted by the Seeking Alpha editors, but the sheer volume of aggregated content that flows through the site every day is difficult to manually police for adherence to compliance standards. This can make it hard — especially for beginners — to tell the difference between honest and expert advice and a one-sided viewpoint with an ulterior motive.


Free and Paid Subscriptions

Both sites offer a host of content for free but reserve some of their best content for paid subscribers. Both sites encourage you to register for a free account to get a taste of the paid content you could be receiving.

The sites have different tiers or types of subscriptions catering to different audiences.

The Motley Fool’s Subscriptions

The content on The Motley Fool’s website, YouTube channel, and podcasts is free, and they share portions of their premium newsletters with readers for free. You’ll also find some free investment advice with stock tips focusing on a particular industry or set of companies.

However, to access the latest stock picks and recommendations, retirement portfolios, Social Security tips, and access to the Options University (customized commentary and recommendations for immediate and advanced traders), you’ll have to sign up for a paid subscription. The Motley Fool’s premium subscriptions are tailored to different levels of expertise and interests.

The subscription packages are offered for as little as $149 per year up to $999 per year at full price. Frequent promotions can cut actual pricing by 50% or more during your first year, and sometimes longer.

The list of available paid subscriptions is a bit confusing, and many of the options are extremely pricey. For a beginner just starting out and exploring the world of investments, a paid yearly subscription might be too hefty of an outlay.

Also, even if you’re willing to dole out the big bucks for a paid subscription, many of the high-end options are no longer open to new members.

Here are some examples of paid Motley Fool subscription packages:

  • Stock Advisor (SA). SA offers the most current stock recommendations from The Fool community, analysts, and founders. SA costs new members $199 per year.
  • Rule Breakers (RB). RB focuses on high-growth stocks and gives members monthly access to current stock recommendations, community and investment resources. RB costs $299 per year.
  • Rule Your Retirement (RYR). RYR is for investors reaching retirement age. You’ll get mutual fund and ETF recommendations; Social Security tips, tricks, and strategies; and coverage of retirement topics trending today. RYR costs new subscribers $149 per year.
  • Options (OPT). OPT is geared to immediate and advanced traders with access to the Options University, options investment recommendations, and options trading news and commentary. OPT costs $999 per year, but this package is currently closed to new members.
  • Market Pass (MP). With MP, subscribers get the latest news and stock trades from both Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers, as well as exclusive research on long-term trends. MP costs $1,499 per year but is currently closed to new membership.

A dozen more advanced premium packages are also closed to new membership. Some, such as “Blast Off 2019,” were clearly designed to exist for a limited time and likely aren’t coming back. It’s worth checking the others periodically to see if they’re accepting new members again.

Premium packages range in cost from $1,499 per year to nearly $8,500 per year and offer hand-picked investments selected by Motley Fool analysts in addition to the premium content of the more modest tiers. Each comes with a different emphasis, such as an industry or type of portfolio construction.

Seeking Alpha’s Subscriptions

Seeking Alpha provides a large amount of content to users for free, including the ability to curate portfolios and customize your news feed. However, content that’s older than about 10 days is not available to free users. Plus, some of the information in some articles is hidden behind a paywall.

Seeking Alpha’s free service gives investors access to investing content on individual holdings and Wall Street insights, although the majority of content is focused around stock news.

Free users can see and read the articles, but paid subscribers get a wealth of additional analytical information. This includes charts and statistics about individual stocks and the average analyst rating on specific stocks across Seeking Alpha.

While stock news and articles are the backbones of Seeking Alpha, users can also access commentary and discussions through “StockTalk,” financial tweets that any user can contribute to. All of this equals a vast amount of free subject matter, which is good if you can leverage it but overwhelming if you cannot.

With a Premium subscription, Seeking Alpha grants unlimited access to its huge library of articles and allows you to follow your favorite authors. If you’re not certain whether you want all of the information in the top PRO tier, you can always subscribe to Premium and upgrade if and when you feel the need for more.

  • Seeking Alpha Basic. At this tier, you get stock news and analysis alerts, investing newsletters, new article alerts, the ability to save articles, the ability to leave comments, and access to Seeking Alpha blogs and StockTalk. Seeking Alpha Basic is free.
  • Seeking Alpha Premium. With Premium, you get everything included in the Basic service, plus unlimited access to the site’s roughly 1 million articles; access to Seeking Alpha author ratings, author performance numbers, quant ratings, dividend scores, and forecasts; and an ad-lite website experience. Premium costs $19.99 per month, billed annually, or $29.99 if billed monthly.
  • Seeking Alpha PRO. With their PRO subscription, you get everything offered in both the free and Premium tiers, plus access to Top Ideas content, PRO content and newsletters, a short-selling ideas portal, and an idea screener that lets you filter investing ideas by various parameters. You also gain access to a VIP Editorial Concierge, where PRO editors work directly with members to help find ideas matching their investing style and interests. PRO members also enjoy an ad-free website experience. PRO costs $199.99 per month, billed annually, or $299.99 if billed monthly.

You can compare each plan on the Seeking Alpha website to get a better idea of which works best for you. Both Premium and PRO subscriptions come with 14-day free trials.


The Verdict: Should You Choose The Motley Fool or Seeking Alpha?

The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha appeal to distinct audiences and offer different paid products, yet they have a fair amount in common.

Both appeal to intermediate and advanced investors, include a wealth of market and trend analysis, and maintain paid subscriptions seasoned investors are likely to find valuable.

You Should Choose The Motley Fool If…

  • You Want a Wide Range of Subscription Choices. The Motley Fool offers at least a dozen subscription packages like Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers. Some have broad appeal, while others are tailored to fairly narrow audiences, but all deliver real value for serious investors.
  • You Prefer Curated Financial Content. The Motley Fool’s market content is largely produced by subject matter experts and veteran investors. This is especially true behind its vast paywall, where subscribers willingly pay hundreds of dollars per year for insights they can’t find anywhere else. By contrast, Seeking Alpha’s mix of wire stories, amateur analysis, and expert-produced content feels less organized and more uneven.
  • You Value Access to a Lively Investor Community. The Motley Fool’s curated content is only part of the story. Its members-only discussion boards and CAPS stock-picking community have long defined the platform’s relationship with the investing community and remain a vibrant, insight-rich resource for serious (and not-so-serious) investors.

You Should Choose Seeking Alpha If…

  • You Like News, Opinion, and Analysis From a Mix of Experts and Amateurs. Seeking Alpha published content from a wider array of sources, including newswires and other straight-news publishers, credentialed investing experts (such as CFPs and money managers), industry experts (including corporate executives and analysts), and non-experts whose input may nevertheless be valuable. If you like having as wide a variety of viewpoints as possible before making investing decisions, Seeking Alpha is a great fit.
  • You Want Hands-On Guidance. Though pricey, Seeking Alpha PRO is indispensable for investors seeking personalized advice and guidance — even if they prefer to make their own investment decisions at the end of the day. The Motley Fool’s approach, by contrast, is more “take it or leave it.”
  • You Want a Free Stock Screener and Other Helpful Market Research Tools. Seeking Alpha has some useful market research tools that are absent from the Motley Fool, including a free stock screener.

Both Are Great If…

  • You Want Access to Free, Ungated Market News and Analysis. Although they both use it to push their paid products, the Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha still offer plenty of free, open-access market news and analysis. You’re under no obligation to upgrade in either case.
  • You Have an Insatiable Appetite for Market-Related Content. You could spend all day on either site and still not consume all of its original content. If you’re of the opinion that more market information is always better, you can’t go wrong here.
  • You Prefer DIY Investing (And All That Entails). Neither Seeking Alpha nor the Motley Fool provide formal investing advice or manage investments on behalf of members. For better or worse, both appeal exclusively to DIYers.

Final Word

Despite its reputation as a long-term source of growth, the stock market is highly complex and unpredictable. Having financial advisors available to lean on from the comfort of your sofa is pretty amazing.

The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha are similar, but they have enough differences to set them apart from one another and their competitors.

During the past few years, both have seen an increase in competition from the likes of Robinhood, MetaTrader, MarketWatch, eToro, AlphaStreet, CityFALCON, TIM ALERTS, and other stock market analysis and research websites. But Seeking Alpha and The Motley Fool are holding their own.

As the popularity of DIY online stock accessibility ramps up, services like theirs will continue to be relevant to investors of many stripes looking to level the playing field.

Source: moneycrashers.com

How to Create a Flexible Grocery List to Save Money

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Welcome back to the collaboration between Mint and Brewing Happiness. I’m Haley, the girl behind Brewing Happiness – a blog about celebrating the small healthy choices we make in our lives, complete with recipes for everybody!  I’m here to give you tips on living a healthy, happy life on a budget.

Today I am going to share with you my strategy for creating a flexible grocery store list that will allow you to make the most of the sales happening in your local market. I often find that the problem with having a strict grocery list is that you miss out on what’s fresh or on sale. Oppositely, when you only buy what’s on sale you end up with a bunch of miscellaneous items that don’t go together. My method will help solve both of those problems, while making meals that won’t break the bank.

This method will help you plan out your week so you aren’t stuck with boring work lunches or scrambling to make dinner for your family. The proportions for the actual grocery list will need to be tailored depending on how many people you are feeding. The idea is to take the concept and mold it to your needs and lifestyle.

Here are 5 tips to get you started:

#1 Have three options for breakfast – buy the one with the best price.

Go to the grocery store with three possibilities in mind – perhaps eggs, yogurt and granola, and oatmeal – and buy the one that is cheapest. Maybe your favorite granola is having a sale that week – buy that – or maybe oatmeal is more cost effective because it will last you longer. I find it is easiest to choose when I have three options and narrow it down, rather than going with no plan at all.

#2 Pick a theme.

Perhaps you are craving Mexican or Indian or Mediterranean food that week – let that choice guide your shopping. This will create parameters to help guide you, as to avoid coming home with food items you don’t need or won’t go together.

#3 Loosely structure a grocery list.

The example below will help you understand this point further, but the general idea is to create a list full of “generics” that can be tailored to your theme and sale prices. This may look like: 1 grain, 1 protein, 3 vegetables, 2 herbs, etc. (See example list below.)

#4 Consider versatility.

When selecting food, especially produce, choose foods that can be used for more than one meal, or foods that you like to eat both raw and cooked. This will provide more meal options for you as well as help save you money.

#5 Don’t forget the essentials.

Always add oils, spices, flour, herbs, and lemon to your grocery list. These things can help diversify your meals by creating marinades or dressings. They can also be customized based on the theme or what is on sale.

To illustrate just how easy this can be,  I’ve provided an example grocery list along with three meal possibilities you could make!

 

Grocery List

Theme: Mexican

Breakfast choices: eggs, yogurt and granola, or oatmeal

  • 1 grain
    • rice, brown rice, quinoa, etc.
  • 2 proteins
    • chicken, steak, chickpeas, eggs, etc.
  • 1 green
    • spinach, romaine, swiss chard, kale, etc.
  • 3-4 vegetables
    • red onion, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc.
  • 1 cheese
    • cotijia, goat cheese, Mexican cheese, etc.
  • 1 carb
    • tortillas, flatbread, potatoes, etc.
  • 1 fruit
    • bananas, berries, apples, grapes, etc.
  • 2 herbs
    • cilantro, mint, parsley, etc.
  • 3 lemons
 

Example Meals:

  • Salad with greens, chopped raw vegetables, protein, herbs, cheese, and olive oil and lemon for dressing. Served with fruit on the side.
  • Wrap with greens, cooked vegetables, protein, cheese and herbs. Served with fruit on the side.
  • Roasted sheet pan meal with vegetables and protein, topped with herbs, cheese, and lemon juice.
  • Grain bowl with protein, greens, cooked or raw vegetables, herbs, lemon and olive oil for dressing.
  • Frittata with eggs, vegetables, greens, cheese, and herbs baked.

I hope you try out this flexible grocery list concept – it will save some money, while inspiring some new work lunches or family dinners!

Follow along!

 

Over the next few months I’ll be covering a variety of ways to be healthy on a budget. Keep an eye out for those and head over to Brewing Happiness for healthy recipe inspiration in the meantime!

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Source: mint.intuit.com