Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Who needs insurance?
Those wanting to leave money to family, purchase a business on your behalf or leave money your favorite charities need to consider insurance. Anyone with dependents, human or otherwise, definitely should have life insurance. People not needing insurance include those who have raised and educated children now living independently, folks who have accumulated sufficient assets to support a surviving spouse and the single elderly population.
There are two basic types of life policies:
Term life is insurance which provides coverage at a fixed rate of payments for a fixed period of time. If the insured dies during the term, the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary. Term life insurance is perhaps the simplest form of life insurance. It provides temporary life insurance protection for those on a limited budget. Large amounts can be purchased for low monthly premiums. It is designed primarily for things such as coverage to pay off loans, or providing extra protection during child-raising years. Most term insurance is issued in 5, 10, 20, and 30 year periods.
Whole life is an insurance policy that remains in force for life of the insured. The payout is guaranteed at the end of the policy (assuming the policy is kept current). These policies often accrue cash value which can be withdrawn and are ultimately deducted from the death benefit.
Cost or health issues can be contributing factors to those being uninsured or underinsured. Term life which is the cheapest form of life coverage available is relatively inexpensive even for those who use tobacco products. Even if you cannot afford a $500,000 policy an inexpensive $100,000 policy will offer loved ones some measure of security upon your passing. For those who have employer life insurance spoken about earlier. Upon leaving these policies can be converted into permanent (whole) policies without showing proof of insurability. Please note the window for this conversion is typically 30 days.
Established in 2009, Atra Vir Capital is a boutique investment firm, providing wealth management and investment consulting. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Atra Vir also provides a wide range of health and life insurance products.
Atra Vir Capital, LLC
2870 Peachtree Road, NW
Atlanta, GA 30305
Toll Free 888.754.2271
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Raymond_V_Hayes,_Jr.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Beware it’s quite lengthy at over 2,000 pages.
The version of the bill passed in the Senate must now be merged with the version passed by the House of Representatives Once merged; Obama would sign the final bill into law in the New Year.
1 If the legislation becomes law, it would prevent health-insurance companies from denying benefits to people who have medical conditions. It would also keep insurers from charging higher premiums to that group.
2. Almost all Americans would be required to carry health insurance under the legislation. Low-income Americans would receive subsidies to help them pay. Employers would be encouraged to cover their employees through a mix of penalties and tax credits.
3. The Senate bill does not contain a government-run option for health insurance, while the House version does. In addition, the Senate version has less strict rules concerning abortion than does the House version.
Here is a copy of the House version: Affordable Health Care for America Act HR 3962
This document is over 1900 pages.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
There is a common misconception among African Americans that the stock market is too risky or is a rich man’s game. “Playing” the market is seen as tantamount to gambling in a casino. Contrary to these beliefs, the United States’ stock market has allowed many to send their children to college, significantly build their nest eggs and retire in a manner of their choosing. Over the long term, stocks have historically outperformed all other investments.
The S&P 500® has been widely regarded as the best single gauge of the large cap U.S. equities market since the index was first published in 1957. The index includes 500 leading companies in top industries of the U.S. economy. From 1926 to 2008, the S&P 500 had an average annual return of 9.6 percent. As of December 11, 2009 the S&P 500 was up 25.38%.
The key is a properly diversified portfolio. As the old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Diversification can reduce your risk without significantly reducing your return. If you don’t have a large amount of money to put together an individual stock portfolio then mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are acceptable alternatives.
When the economy recovers…and yes it will recover, we need to be poised to take advantage of it.
Raymond V. Hayes, Jr.
Mr. Hayes is Managing Director of Atra Vir Capital, headquartered in Atlanta, GA.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This morning I was on my way to a meeting. While on my way I decided to stop off and have a quick bite to eat near the Mall West End in southwest Atlanta. The car was parked in the mall parking lot on the corner of Ralph David Abernathy and Lee Street, facing the street in front of Maxway department store and Georgia Power. I went into the restaurant at approximately 9:30am and was returning to the car at around 9:50am. Upon my return to the car I found that the back driver’s side window had been smashed and my book-bag containing my laptop had been taken. First let me just clarify: All of the windows were up, the doors were locked, and the laptop was not visible. It is in a plain ordinary book-bag (not a laptop bag) and was lying on the floor. I must commend the Atlanta police department on their timely arrival. I feel a great deal of disappointment with management of the Mall Westend for a lack of surveillance cameras in the parking lot. Lenox has cameras; Phipps has cameras, why not Westend? Speaking to the officer while he wrote the report I learned several shocking things. First the officer was a 9 year veteran and had only received 2 salary increases in his 9 year tenure. One of these increases of 3% came with an increase in health insurance cost of 7%. Second, the officer was approaching his 10 year anniversary in which his salary should have been maxed out. He said he was not even close. Finally starting salaries for Atlanta police officers are $38,000 per year. I find this unacceptable. I asked the officer about needing 700 new officers, he sated Atlanta needed” …more than that…” He says there is no incentive to be an Atlanta police officer. Atlanta is not on the twenty year retirement plan (twenty and done), but on a combination of years of service plus age. What are the incentives, low pay and poor retirement benefits? There is a complete lack of confidence in the current administration and in those seeking office.
Apparently the City of Atlanta is also looking at taking over the functions of off duty police officers. The current rate to hire an off duty officer is $35 per hour. The city would take over this function and all businesses wanting to hire off duty police would then go through city hall. Basically the city would increase costs to businesses (to $50/hr) and short change officers (lowering their rate to $25/hr). Chief Pennington ranks 3rd in the country for salary among police chiefs, while rank and file officers rank 175th. It also seems that the police furloughs were unnecessary as I was told that Atlanta was the recipient of a 10 year Federal grant, therefore there was money to prevent furloughs.
Finally, I’m considering whether to leave southwest Atlanta altogether. Southwest Atlanta, specifically along the Cascade Road corridor is home to some of Atlanta’s most prominent citizens. Mayor Shirley Franklin, Andrew Young, Representative John Lewis, and 3 of the 4 major mayoral candidates to name a few all reside along Cascade. It would seem they would take more pride in their own back yard from I-285 to The Mall Westend….apparently not. In the almost 10 years I’ve resided in southwest Atlanta, my home(which I recently sold) was broken into twice, my car stolen out of my driveway and I’ve been a victim of random petty thefts. This most recent incident seems to be the latest in a string of property crimes of which our elected officials are unwilling to act and of which our citizenry feel a lack of confidence in those seeking office are willing to act. When telling someone you live in southwest Atlanta or along Cascade you should not have to hang your head in shame. I think I’ll need to spend more time in Midtown or Buckhead.
-Raymond V. Hayes, Jr.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Even as it heads into the final days before the election, the Atlanta mayor’s race remains, as it has for months now, a showdown between three well-funded, skilled politicians, who are followed some distance behind by an earnest outsider. Voters seem largely indifferent and indecisive — perhaps because there’s a tough choice here, but also some easy ones.
First, the easy. Jesse Spikes has an impressive background as a Rhodes scholar and a Harvard-educated partner in a well-connected law firm, and he’s picked up some support as a none-of-the-above candidate. But his entire message is that City Hall “needs to get its financial house in order,” while providing no evidence to suggest he has the skills to perform that task.
On the other hand, front-runner Mary Norwood is a small bundle of near-manic energy who’s spent the past four or five years tirelessly engaged in unofficial campaigning, visiting neighborhood groups and holding town-hall meetings across the city. She’s forged personal connections with voters from Buckhead to Ben Hill, who perceive the councilwoman as someone who truly cares.
Unfortunately, her skill as a campaigner obscures the fact that, during two terms on Council, Norwood has been strikingly ineffective. She’s never chaired a Council committee; she endlessly laments her inability to gain access to city documents; she concedes that Mayor Shirley Franklin has spoken to her only a couple of times in eight years; and she complains that her legislation is often ignored by city department heads.
Norwood’s cultivated image is that of a powerful rabble-rouser who’s been thwarted in her efforts to challenge the status quo. But the reality is that Norwood is considered a lightweight inside City Hall because she has a tendency to flit from one issue to the next, often taking reactionary positions based on superficial information, seemingly unable to maintain the focus needed to craft thoughtful civic policy.
And Norwood’s campaign platform is financially irresponsible. She calls for a large increase in public-safety spending, but dismisses the city budget as incomprehensible, readily admitting she’ll have no clue how to fund her initiatives until after she’s sworn in. However well-intentioned, Norwood lacks the temperament, analytical thinking, leadership skills, and, frankly, the vision needed to succeed as mayor.
Now comes the hard part. The thin sliver of the electorate that’s turned out for any of the dozens of mayoral forums have seen each event turn into a duel between Council President Lisa Borders and state Sen. Kasim Reed, both natural politicians who are well-matched in rhetorical skill and stage presence.
Borders, a former Cousins Property executive turned Grady fundraiser, and Reed, a partner at a national law firm, possess a seemingly encyclopedic grasp of city government and an impressive command of policy minutiae. Both have an unflappable professionalism that would serve them well as the city’s top executive. And both have laudable resumes and the kind of high-level connections in the public and private sectors that are essential to the position. In short, Borders and Reed are both highly qualified and capable candidates for mayor — plus, they have similar plans for boosting public safety.
But we believe Reed deserves the edge for several reasons: his strong record of leadership as a minority-party legislator; his solid relationships with state lawmakers; and his clear-eyed, pragmatic vision of Atlanta’s future.
If you’ve followed Reed on the campaign trail, you know he hasn’t promised any revenue initiatives of the scale of Borders’ point-of-sale tax collection proposal. But the Borders plan, while intriguing, could be well beyond any mayor’s ability to deliver. Reed, by contrast, has chosen to focus on cost-cutting reforms he could reasonably enact, such as scaling back Atlanta’s ruinous pension liabilities, reining in employee overtime and using fewer outside lawyers.
Nor has Reed shied away from offering specific changes he’d implement as mayor, from trimming the city’s IT department to replacing the private contractor handling worker’s comp claims for police. We’re confident Reed would make the tough decisions needed to fund his most ambitious proposal, to reopen the city’s shuttered recreation centers and expand their hours and programs to give Atlanta’s inner-city youth an alternative to the streets.
As a legislator, Reed has ranked among the most effective policymakers in the Senate. Despite being a partisan Democrat, he’s been successful working with — and sometimes around — Republicans to get things done, such as restoring tax allocation district funding and securing the low-interest state loans that allowed Atlanta to launch its sewer fix. It could be said that Reed has capably served as the city’s de facto floor leader.
By all accounts, Borders has been a strong and engaged City Council president, but the position is not one that lends itself to a tangible record of accomplishment that can rival Reed’s. And the relationship of mutual respect he’s cultivated with the state’s GOP leaders will be critical to helping move Atlanta forward on such vital regional issues as transportation planning, water resources and even Beltline funding.
None of the candidates are perfect or has the management experience that Franklin brought to the job. Borders is rightly criticized for supporting a tax hike to end police furloughs — after she opposed a similar measure aimed at preventing them. And Reed has been attacked as representing a potential continuation of the Franklin administration and Atlanta’s long history of political patronage.
Certainly, Reed has been close to Franklin, whose two mayoral campaigns he managed. But he’s also been critical of Franklin’s failings and seems intent not to repeat her mistakes, such as retaining an underperforming police chief. In fact, as head of Franklin’s 2002 City Hall transition team, he helped lay the groundwork for her successful first term and gained valuable insight into city operations.
Our main concern with Reed is that he can be too politically calculating, more interested in outmaneuvering his opponents than achieving a beneficial goal. You sometimes need to play that game to survive at the Capitol, but it won’t work at the city, where taxpayers demand transparency and honest communication.
If caring about people were all it takes to be mayor, then Norwood would get our vote. Borders also seems drawn to public service, as a continuation of her family’s legacy, while Reed seems motivated by personal ambition at times. Still, we believe that he has the strongest record of achievement and the right skill set for being an effective mayor of Atlanta.
October 13, 2009 at 10:00 am by Thomas Wheatley in News
Sunday, September 13, 2009
-Tameka L. Curry
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
July 12 at 8:34pm
This is a huge fuckup. Don't know the details, but I'm on the hunt to find out.
Today at 12:20am
This is outrageous, the ATL not finding ways to spend money they've had for years, now having to return it.30 Million is nothing to sneeze at.
Someone has not been watching the store!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Dear Councilwoman Winslow:
I would like to thank you for having the grass cut along Pryor Street. Please see the attached photos. Again thank you for taking the needed steps in not allowing urban blight to gain a foothold. I also invite you to attend NPU-V Photovoice Project: Taking It to the Streets/The Audacity of HOOPS, sponsored by The Dirty Truth www.dirtytruth.org at the Dunbar Neighborhood Center at 477 WindsorSt. Atlanta, GA 30312 Saturday July 25th 11am-4pm I also welcome and encourage you to join me on Facebook.
Raymond V. Hayes, Jr.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
African Americans and Investing
I was not sure how to approach this paper when I started. The fact that I am African American myself in addition to having worked in the invest arena for just over a decade now made the topic quite close to home. I tried to think through the subject and recall some of my own professional experiences. One of the first things I recalled was a recent conversation I shared with my friend Dan while we were both spending time at one of our favorite haunts, La Casa Del Tobacco. Dan, who happens to be Caucasian as well as a fellow regular, and I were discussing the ups and (mostly) downs of the market. I commented on how the market looked like it was finally coming back. Dan commented on how glad he was to finally claw his way back to recoup some of his losses, while I spoke of this being the best time in years to buy and the potential for a lot of money to be made.
Partially through the conversation it occurred to me that many blacks would have been completely left out of this conversation. I tried to recall how many fellow African Americans I had ever had conversations with regarding insurance, financial planning, and investments. Those conversations were few and far between, only occurring among those African Americans I would consider co-workers or peers.
It’s been several years since we graduated, and about a year ago I ran into him in Norcross. He had been back in the states and working for Deutsche Bank before being laid off. An initial conversation about taking part I of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Exam turned into a conversation about our feelings about being persons of African descent and working in the predominantly white investment/financial services sector. Our conversation quickly turned to how he had become disillusioned with the investment industry. He stated that the industry was too racist and too difficult to truly break into beyond a certain level. In fact, he went as far as to state that he is no longer interested in investment / financial services, and has made the transition to IT. I’ve had this conversation, in one form or another, with other peers.
On the private client side- are there are too many black advisors chasing too few black dollars?
On the investment banking side- is the network closed and too deferential to the “old boy” network for persons of color to truly compete?
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Let me get this straight...you are concerned about some overgrowth in the area? Although I see what you're saying that it is an eyesore I think the city council should be concerned more about hmmmm maybe the rampant violent CRIME in this city and the soft judicial system that just spits them back out...especially the juveniles and especially one ... Read More particular judge whose name escapes me but because he was a "troubled" youth he feels its his duty to give these clowns a second, third, and forth chance. I bet he wasnt out committing armed robbery, shooting people for no reason, and KILLING people was he? Nice first effort, but if I were you I'd concentrate my efforts in a more productive area.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Dear Councilwoman Winslow:
I am a newly arrived constituent to your district. Along with running my own business, I am also a student at Georgia State University. Frequently I walk to and from GSU's downtown campus. During my walks I've discovered an eyesore and public safety issue. Along Pryor Street, between Crumley and Fulton, there is a tremendous amount of overgrowth IE. grass, weeds, kudzu, etc. This growth covers the entire sidewalk and route along Pryor. I find myself forced to walk in the street, and have been frequently stopped by law enforcement advising me of the dangers of this course of action. Respectfully, I ask that something be done regarding the overgrowth of foliage along the cities sidewalks as this is an eyesore and a hazard in two ways; first forcing residents to walk in the street, second this growth encourages vermin such as mice, rats and snakes. Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.
Raymond V. Hayes, Jr.