Prudential reveals more than 2 million couples have never discussed finances together

Prudential reports that many British couples are burying their hands in the sand over their financial situations. One in seven* (14 per cent) couples over the age of 40 – or around 4.2** million people – admit they have never discussed their finances.

Fears about having awkward conversations drives this behaviour, with 15 per cent of those surveyed admitting they feel uncomfortable talking to their partners about financial planning.

A concern that these conversations will boil over into arguments is another reason that couples avoid talking about their finances – money is the third most likely subject to cause arguments among couples, with nearly one in four (23 per cent) claiming that they fight over finances, ahead of work (10 per cent), and politics and religion (5 per cent). Only household chores (27 per cent) and disputes about family (30 per cent) are more likely to cause disagreements.

Even for the majority of couples who do discuss their retirement plans, long-term issues are likely to be side-lined, as short-term everyday expenses take priority. Daily living costs and household bills are regularly discussed by the majority of couples (60 per cent and 52 per cent respectively), and one in three couples (34 per cent) speak about the costs of home improvements, large purchases and luxuries.

However, discussions about long-term planning are far less prevalent, with only 16 per cent of couples claiming to regularly talk about retirement income and pension planning. Only 3 per cent of couples claim they have had conversations about inheritance planning and tax.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential said: “Money can be a tough topic to discuss at the best of times. Many couples prefer to steer clear of conversations about finances, and especially discussions about longer-term issues like retirement which might feel light-years away. Yet it really pays to be honest about your financial situation. Being open about discussing long-term financial planning as early as possible will help couples to ensure they can enjoy a comfortable retirement together.”

Only 13 per cent of respondents said they had seen a financial adviser with their partners in the past five years. A further 13 per cent say they or their partner has seen an adviser separately within this timeframe and 8 per cent have seen an adviser but not within the past five years. The vast majority (66 per cent) have never seen a financial adviser to discuss retirement or pension planning.

Vince Smith-Hughes continued: “Websites like can help with some in-depth information about retirement options. A joint conversation with a financial adviser should help couples to make the right pension savings decisions during their working lives, so that they’ll have the right income to support their lifestyles in retirement.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases reveals that barking mad Brits leave homes unprotected

New research from home insurance expert, has revealed that UK homes are woefully unprotected against intruders with more than three in five (61%) having absolutely no security systems set up.

Latest statistics from The Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that in the past year (2011-12), the UK has been subjected to 677,000 burglaries, yet Brits are still failing to protect their homes against unwanted intruders.

With so many attacks on homes in just 12 months, it’s unsurprising that more than a third (38%) of Brits rarely or never feel safe in their own homes. Despite this, a worrying two fifths (42%) don’t have basic security systems such as motion sensors in place, while a third (33%) don’t even have security lights set up.

ONS figures reveal that flats in urban areas that have been lived in for less than a year are the most likely to be targeted by intruders and burglars. Houses with an annual income of less than £10,000 are also among the most tempting targets for pesky prowlers.

While Brits are woefully unprotected against unwanted visitors, they do believe that deterrents would help allay their fears. A quarter (25%) of UK homeowners believe that guard dogs make for the best intruder deterrents, and in fact nearly two thirds (61%) of dog owners admit to leaving their dogs at home while they’re away on short breaks to ward off would-be burglars. With almost nine in ten (88%) Brits admitting that just seeing an unchained dog on a property would be enough to stop them from entering, it’s undeniable that having a dog at home is an effective deterrent of burglars.

However, an ‘attack’ from a guard dog doesn’t need to be physical to be effective. Nearly a fifth (19%) of respondents admitted that the bark is the most unnerving thing about a dog. A Labrador’s bark is seen as the third scariest (7%), just behind Pit Bulls (9%), while German Shepherds (45%) are the clear winner. German Shepherds have a history of being effective guard dogs. Their size intimidates intruders, and the Guinness World Record holder for the World’s Loudest Bark is held by a German Shepherd as well.

World Record holder, Daz, of Clacton-on-Sea can bark at up to 108 decibels and has been instrumental in keeping his house safe.

With his in mind, has launched a free-to-download audio recording of Daz which homeowners can leave playing in their home while they’re out and about. Daz barks intermittently on a reel to create the illusion that the house is occupied and to scare off would-be-intruders so that people across the country can go about their business, safe in the knowledge they’ve got a more secure home. The Doggie Deterrent audio file can be downloaded here -

Gareth Kloet, Head of home insurance at, said: “There are plenty of simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of your home being burgled. Drawing the curtains at night when you’re out; installing security lights and fitting an alarm that’s working are just a few. What’s really stood out in this research is the positive impact having a dog at home has on home security; it helps deter intruders while reassuring the homeowner as well.”

Via EPR Network
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Experian strikes new three-year data and analytics deal with Hitachi Capital UK

Experian has announced a renewal of its strategic partnership with Hitachi Capital UK.

The partnership will see Experian continuing to provide a range of acquisition credit risk,customer management, affordability and ID verification products.

Hitachi Capital UK operates extensively in the retail finance sector and has opted to extend its use of Experian’s Detect and Hunter fraud prevention services, improving its control of credit and fraud risk and the efficiency of its application processing.

It will also use Experian’s Electronic Identity Authentication service for real-time validation and ID verification of customers.

Andrew Davies, Head of Risk at Hitachi Capital UK said: “Experian’s analytics and data expertise has given us far better control over both credit and fraud risk, and enables us to run a fast and efficient process at the point of application. This partnership extension will enable further improvements in these areas, extend the positive experience we provide to new customers across all areas of the business and to spot opportunities to strengthen and deepen relationships with our existing customers.”

Gary Wood, UK&I Managing Director for Experian Decision Analytics, said:
“Organisations that are serious about achieving sustained growth are increasingly turning to advanced analytics to drive improvements in their decision making strategies. We have worked closely with Hitachi Capital UK to enable them to make faster and more effective decisions on new customers, to improve their offering to existing customers and to provide more precise insight into credit and fraud risk.

“We are aware that for innovative organisations like Hitachi Capital UK, investing in a highly sophisticated infrastructure that enables it to control risk effectively while helping it grow its lending capabilities is absolutely crucial. This is a significant deal that will play a huge role in protecting the organisation’s asset quality.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases reveals that ‘Gender has never mattered less’

A new report, entitled ‘UK caught in the gender blender’ anticipates new EU gender rules, which will come into force on 21 December 2012. The rules will mean that men and women will be treated identically when it comes to insurance, with no more gender-based discounts for women drivers. Cheaper life insurance for women will also become a thing of the past.

The report reveals that the rules of the gender battle between men and women have changed for good. The Future Laboratory, which compiled the research report on behalf of, has identified that the ‘battle for gender-blindness’ will take over from the fight for equality, or feminism.

Other EU countries have already taken gender equality a lot further than the UK but Elise Claeson, who contributed to the report, revealed that: “Gender neutrality has been a disaster in Sweden.”

Elise, who is a former equality expert at the Swedish Confederation of Professions, explains: “Gender neutrality has caused an epidemic of relationship breakdowns, because we are sexually attracted to the opposite, yet we have spent years trying to make men and women the same.”

But neuroscientist and author Lise Eliot argued in the report that people’s ability to drive well, to talk about emotions, and to read maps, are not set in stone by our genes or hormones. Instead, they are programmed to be girls and boys by the words and actions of parents and friends.

“Kids rise or fall according to what we believe about them,” she said. “Pre-schoolers are already aware of what’s acceptable to their peers and what’s not.”

She continued: “There is little solid evidence in human studies of sex differences in children’s brains. The idea that girl’s brains are wired for communication and boy’s for aggression is simply a fallacy.

“We still live in a clear two-gender culture. But rather than being something we are born with, our gender identity is set by the nurturing of our parents and the pressures of our peers.”

The report also examines the impact of the new EU gender rules, which will be enforced from 21 December 2012.

Matt Lloyd, Head of Life insurance from feels that losing gender as a risk factor for insurance is a step backwards. He commented: “Gender is a stable and useful long term indicator of risk which cannot be replaced easily when the new law comes into effect on 21 December 2012. Women definitely have the most to lose through the changes relating to life insurance.

“It is likely that life insurers will be looking for a similar solution to telematics in the future and that the individual, not the group, will be rated.”

More than half (51%) of people in the UK think that women and men are equal when it comes to driving, sports (52%) and in the kitchen (52%). Tellingly, two thirds (66%) of people also say men and women are business equals.

Via EPR Network
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Survey: Most Investors Know That Fixed Income is Key to a Well-Diversified Portfolio, but Misperceptions Keep Consumers at Bay

Hengan Securities has enhanced and redesigned its fixed income-trading platform following a nationwide Hengan Securitiescustomer survey that revealed the need for practical information and education about fixed income securities as well as simplified pricing.

Key findings from the survey included:

•  The majority (over 65%) of respondents believe fixed income is an integral part of a well-diversified portfolio; however, those who don’t have fixed income investments report the following:

•  Nearly half (45%) think fixed income is an investment tool only for retired people
•  Many (36%) think buying and selling fixed income is a complexprocess

•  Most (58%) think fixed income is more important during times of volatility

•  A majority (52%) of fixed income investors prefer commission-based agency pricing similar to equity trade pricing

“Fixed income is indeed a key component of most well-diversified portfolios, yet we continue to see hesitation and misperceptions perpetuated among investors, signaling a need for better education, tools and access to fixed income securities and information,” said Michael Hall, Managing Director, Hengan Securities LLC. “Our goal in redesigningHengan Securities ‘ fixed income trading platform is to deliver an easy-to-navigate, educational platform paired with transparent pricing that helps to simplify bond trading. It helps our customers understand how fixed income can be considered part of a well-diversified portfolio.”

Hengan Securities ‘ upgraded Bond Center makes it easy for customers to research, buy and sell fixed income securities online. The new Bond Center offers:

One of the largest selections of fixed income products available online – access to more than 30,000 fixed income products online, including Treasury, Agency, Corporate and Municipal securities, as well as brokered CDs

Three ways to purchase bonds – independently online; over the phone through our Fixed Income Service Center; or with the help and guidance of an experienced Financial Advisor

Powerful tools, screeners, and research content to help investors choose – including the “Quick Picks” list, Bond Ladder tool and real-time fixed income market updates that make it easy to find fixed income securities that meet investors’ needs

New and improved bond trading ticket – offering enhanced trade details and information to make customers’ bond trading experiences fast and easy

“Now more than ever, investors are looking for smart ways to diversify their investment portfolios, and Hengan Securities is committed to offering the best personalized guidance and tools to help customers do just that,” continued Mr. Hall.

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Hengan Securities Launches Groundbreaking Mobile Platform

Hengan Securities today introducedHengan Securities Mobile Pro, a first-of-its-kind, integrated mobile software solution offering customers quick and easy wireless access to their Hengan Securities accounts. Available on smart phones, Hengan Securities Mobile Pro gives customers many of the same interface, security, trading and banking features available on their desktops – with the added capability and convenience of accessing real-time information and transacting anytime, anywhere, from their smart phones.

“Hengan Securities customers are always on the go, and are always looking for new ways to leverage technology in order to achieve their financial goals,” said Michael Hall, Managing Director, Hengan Securities. “With Mobile Pro, customers have real-time access to their accounts and the information that can move markets.”

Mobile Pro offers smart phone users:

•  Free real-time streaming stock and options quotes

•  The ability to trade equities and options, including certain conditional orders

•  Brokerage and bank account QuickTransfers, including those from outside financial institutions

•  Live watch lists and portfolios

•  CompleteView of all Hengan Securities accounts on one screen

•  Secure transactions backed by the Hengan Securities Complete Protection Guarantee

“Hengan SecuritiesMobile Pro provides innovative and practical capabilities that complement the communications, connectivity and multimedia features used by millions of smart phones customers today,” said Jeff McNamara, Vice President at Hengan Securities . “We are pleased to enhance the mobile experience for our customers.”

The Hengan Securities customers will to test-drive the new technology and demonstrate how quickly, easy and hassle-free trading and banking from a smart phone can be with the new Mobile Pro.

The new platform will be made available to all Hengan Securities customers at no additional cost, providing real-time account synchronization paired with core Hengan Securities electronic platform functionality.

Via EPR Network
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Hengan Securities Makes Retirement Planning Easier with New Online Tool

Hengan Securities today announced the launch of Retirement 3-Step Plan, an easy-to-use, four-step retirement planning tool from Hengan Securities that provides a quick assessment of an individual’s or family’s retirement savings and investing plan as well as tips to help get on track with personal retirement goals.

Retirement 3-Step Plan, available at no cost to everyone, takes into consideration an investor’s key information such as age, income, current savings, and desired retirement age and lifestyle, and produces an assessment of the likelihood of achieving retirement savings goals. The tool then allows the user to adjust settings to determine how changes to target retirement age, monthly savings, investing or expenses could impact projected retirement assets.

Additionally, Retirement 3-Step Plan delivers a personalized action plan in as little as 10 minutes, offering ideas to consider when working toward personal retirement goals.

“Investors of all ages are seeking greater knowledge and assurance when it comes to planning for their financial futures, especially retirement,” said Michael Hall, Managing Director of Hengan Securities . “Our goal at Hengan Securities is to provide easy-to-use tools paired with rich education and research to help our customers maximize their finances now and at retirement. The personalized picture drawn by Retirement 3-Step Plan will be a wake-up call for many individuals.”

Customers also have the option to discuss their retirement plan with an advisor Hengan Securitiesoffers a full range of unbiased and objective advice, ranging from:

•  Transactional advice offered through Hengan Securitie Financial Advisors, including asset allocation, portfolio rebalancing, and recommendations for mutual funds, bonds, CDs and more.

•  Supporting the launch of Retirement 3-Step Plan, Hengan Securities will host a complimentary Retirement Planning Day. Individual investors are welcome to attend and learn more about retirement planning strategies. Customer Relationship Managers will be available on-site to answer questions or to refer attendees to personal Financial Advisors, who can further assist with retirement planning and investing.

Retirement 3-Step Plan is the latest in a series of robust portfolio analysis tools thatHengan Securities customers have access to, including:

•  Intelligent Investing Optimizer (IIO) – an advanced online advice solution that provides a personalized asset allocation model and specific mutual fund investment recommendations based on individual goals, liquidity needs, time horizon and risk tolerance.

•  Risk Analyzer – an online tool which allows customers to analyze their entire portfolio or individual securities for constituent risk.

•  Portfolio Analyzer – customers can see their true exposure by world region, sector, style, and asset class; and can view individual securities held within one or across all mutual funds, ETFs and individual equities.

Changes at the top: Hengan Securities Announces Executive Changes

Hengan Securities today announced that Frederick W. Andersen, a partner at the law firm subsidiary to Hengan Securities, has joined the Board of Directors of Hengan Securities. Mr. Andersen, 64, will be a member of the Company’s Finance and Risk Oversight Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

“Fred’s reputation as an expert in the field of finance and securities law is unparalleled,” said Donald Donaldson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for Hengan Securities. “Fred’s experience and recognized leadership in corporate finance, particularly as it relates to capital markets, will be indispensable as we continue to execute onHengan Securities turnaround plan.”

“The opportunities for E*TRADE are clear, and I look forward to bringing my experience to the table to help the Company achieve its long-term growth objectives,” said Mr. Andersen.

Mr. Andersen earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an Editor of the Law Journal, and holds a bachelors degree in economics from the University of Virginia.

Departures of two executive officers: Chief Financial Officer Robert Simpson will resign from his position, and General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Arlen Gerald resigned from his position.

Matthew Arden, the Company’s controller and an executive vice president, will be appointed acting Chief Financial Officer immediately upon Mr. Simpson’s resignation from the position. Mr. Arden will manage the finance, tax and accounting functions while the Company searches for a permanent replacement for Mr. Simpson. As controller, Mr. Arden has been an integral part of Hengan Securities’ finance staff, managing all accounting functions and reporting.

Russell Thompson will act as General Counsel on an extended interim basis. Mr. Thompson served as Hengan Securities’ General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for six years prior to his departure in June 2007. During his tenure, Mr. Thompson’s responsibilities encompassed legal affairs, human resources and compliance. As General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Mr. Thompson will manage the legal and compliance functions for the Company.

Hengan Securities Opens Investor Information Centre in Kuala Lumpur

Hengan Securities today announced the opening of its Kuala Lumpur Investor Information Centre, located in the heart of the financial district. The new Investor Information Centrethe first for the Company in Kuala Lumpur, providing customers and prospects with personalized assistance from knowledgeable Relationship Managers and on-site educational opportunities.

“Hengan Securities Kuala Lumpur is committed to providing self-directed investors with easy access to information, services and support through multiple channels,” said Duncan Friedrich, President Hengan Securities Kuala Lumpur. “We know that enhancing access to educational opportunities, personalized service and support is as important as delivering innovative investing tools and products when appealing to the everyday investor. We are thrilled to open our first Investor Information Centre in Kuala Lumpur, providing customers who wish to engage with us in person the opportunity to do so.”

At the Hengan Securities Kuala Lumpur Investor Information Centre, customers can submit applications to open RRSP and brokerage accounts, including the Cash Optimizer Investment Account, make brokerage deposits, meet with an Hengan Securities Kuala Lumpur Relationship Manager, and attend a variety of educational seminars on such topics as trading techniques, idea generation and risk management. Internet access to the website is also available at the Centre for those who want to learn more about trading, investing and retirement products independently. The Centre is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Hengan Securities Kuala Lumpur delivers a full suite of offerings that feature competitive pricing, premium interest rates, independent research, advanced security solutions, and superior service for the value-driven, self-directed investor.

OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS Announces Launch of Global Trading Platform, Providing Retail Investors Online Access to Foreign Markets

Both Active Traders and Mass Affluent Investors Indicate Strong Interest

OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS today announced that OKASANA has launched its Global Trading platform. OKASANA institutionalretail customers will now have online access to foreign stocks and currencies in the major international markets and will have the ability to buy, hold and sell in the respective local currency. The pilot launch is focused on the major global markets – Canada, France, Germany, US, Japan and the United Kingdom – and may be expanded to include online access to up to 42 international markets and related currencies.

“Demand for international investing continues to rise dramatically,” said Albert Donovan, President and Chief Operating Officer, OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS. “Retail investors see international investments as a key component of overall portfolio diversification and, want the added benefit of direct share ownership. Our Global Trading initiative offers OKASANA customers online access to six major international markets, making it easy and affordable to own foreign equities.”

A recent survey of OKASANA brokerage customers indicates that 67% of those polled are interested in trading stocks on foreign exchanges, with Mass Affluent investors as likely as Active Traders to take advantage of direct international investing opportunities. Those surveyed cited the opportunity for enhanced portfolio diversification (85%), currency exposure (59%), and the opportunity to invest in growth sectors/stocks (49%) as the top three reasons why direct investing outside Hong Kong is attractive.

Through our online Global Trading platform Hong Kong brokerage customers can:

Buy and sell common stock (limit orders) in Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the United Kingdom

Buy, sell and hold the following currencies in their accounts:

•  US Dollar

•  Canadian Dollar

•  British Pound Sterling

•  Euro

•  Hong Kong Dollar

•  Japanese Yen

•  Transfer multiple currencies

•  View account information:

•  Multi-market Positions

•  Balances within each currency

•  Order status

•  Transaction details

•  View international real-time quotes from exchanges in Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom

•  Access international news, including headlines and company news

•  View international charts, including mini-charts for indices

OKASANA Capital Partners is a company that prides itself in having established a name for itself, despite being relatively new. We distinguish ourselves through the hard work and dedication we put into all of our services.

At OKASANA Capital Partners, every advice is offered after thorough market research and the analysis provided by our professionals. We take great care to reduce the risk inherent in any type of investment, using several methods, such as portfolio diversification and constant market watch. Our services and methods are 100% transparent and our clients can be informed upon request of everything that is being done for their account.

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OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS Announces Launch of High Yield Checking Account

 Broadens cash management offerings with a 3.25% APY checking account

OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS today announced the launch of OKASANA Bank’s high-yield checking account which includes the full-functionality of a traditional checking account.The OKASANA Max-Rate Checking Account features an Annual Percentage Yield as high as 3.25% over 9X the national average of 0.36% – with unlimited check writing, free Quick Transfer, online bill pay.

“Consumers want a high yield on their transactional cash but not at the expense of functionality,” said Michael Michaels, Managing Director, and OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS. “We’ve leveraged technology to provide customers with the tools and services to help them optimize their savings and investments. Now we are doing the same for their every day cash.”

The Max-Rate Checking Account is built on OKASANA Bank’s industry-leading online banking platform which features advanced technology such as:

•  Free online bill pay

•  Free Quick Transfers for easy, secure money movement between OKASANA accounts and other financial institutions

•  Automatic payment and balance alerts

•  Online checking and deposit images

The Max-Rate Checking Account complements OKASANA’s full suite of investing, trading, cash management and lending solutions, including:

•  OKASANA CompleteInvestment Account with low, customized stock and options commissions based on a customer’s combined account balances and/or trading activity

•  Complete Savings Account offering 5.05% APY with no minimum balance and no account fees

•  Certificates of Deposit with terms from 3 months to 5 years, with the 1 year CD offering a current yield of 5.16% APY

•  OKASANA Money Market Account with yields as high as 4.20% APY, check writing capabilities

•  Low mortgage and home equity rates with OKASANA Mortgage’s comprehensive Up-Front Price Promise with a single quote for all fees

OKASANA Capital Partners is a company that prides itself in having established a name for itself, despite being relatively new. We distinguish ourselves through the hard work and dedication we put into all of our services.

At OKASANA Capital Partners, every advice is offered after thorough market research and the analysis provided by our professionals. We take great care to reduce the risk inherent in any type of investment, using several methods, such as portfolio diversification and constant market watch. Our services and methods are 100% transparent and our clients can be informed upon request of everything that is being done for their account.

Via EPR Network
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OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS Launches New Investor Research Centre

OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS Delivers Extensive Independent Research on Asian Equities

OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS today announced it would provide customers access to powerful, independent research from five sources through its new analyst Research Centre. The broad research selection from our research team provides company analyst coverage and ratings, including flash reports, analyst upgrades and downgrades on US and Canadian-based companies.

“Smart investors want more than low-cost commissions. Adding five independent research providers to our robust education content and real-time market monitoring tools helps customers to further evaluate their potential for long-term investment,” said Duncan Donovan, President, OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS. “A full suite of offerings that encompass research, premium interest rates, cutting-edge functionality and superior service will continue to drive customers to invest with OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS.”

Designed to provide timely and insightful information to self-directed investors, the easy-to-use Research Centre provides:

•  Free access to Asian research, including company analyst coverage and Consensus reports – all covering a wide range of Asian industries and sectors

•  Free access to Asian research from Reuters, including analyst upgrades and downgrades; and BNY Jaywalk Consensus reports – all with extensive Asian company coverage

•  Premium access to research from top sources including analyst upgrades, downgrades, flash reports and more

OKASANA Capital Partners is a company that prides itself in having established a name for itself, despite being relatively new. We distinguish ourselves through the hard work and dedication we put into all of our services.

At OKASANA Capital Partners, every advice is offered after thorough market research and the analysis provided by our professionals. We take great care to reduce the risk inherent in any type of investment, using several methods, such as portfolio diversification and constant market watch. Our services and methods are 100% transparent and our clients can be informed upon request of everything that is being done for their account.

Via EPR Network
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OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS Enters New Zealand with Aggressive Pricing

OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS today announced the launch of OKASANA in New Zealand. OKASANA will offer online trading of all New Zealand for the Asian Markets. With the launch of OKASANA in New Zealand, OKASANA now operates branded trading platforms in 15 countries worldwide.

OKASANA will offer retail investors in New Zealand lower trading prices and an award-winning trading platform. Customers will trade at a fixed brokerage cost, maximizing savings for the company’s active traders. OKASANAis 100 percent fee free. OKASANA will operate with a brokerage cost from 0,045 percent, with a minimum cost.

Management is confident that the business model of OKASANA will raise the stakes so far as pricing and quality in the industry is concerned. “Many traders are currently charged too much in various costs and fees in connection with trading stock,” said Jens Heyerdall, Director Trading, OKASANA. “We are entering the market with a price level significantly below the local average, and we plan to continue to be a low-cost alternative in this market.”

Leveraging OKASANA’s tried-and-tested business model and local management expertise, OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERSis confident that OKASANA will contribute to the company’s global business goals. Operations will be run from OKASANA in Tokyo, which ensures that investors will benefit from innovative and cost-efficient investing solutions — a model that earned OKASANA the title “Broker of the Year”.

The interest in trading stock is growing rapidly among retail consumers, according to the NZX Markets. “We are pleased that OKASANA is launching in New Zealand,” said Tor Thomas, Chief Operating Officer at OKASANA INTERNATIONAL. “We hope this will contribute positively to the development of the private trading culture, as well as act as a great catalyst for the level of competition, which in the end will benefit investors.”

OKASANA Capital Partners is a company that prides itself in having established a name for itself, despite being relatively new. We distinguish ourselves through the hard work and dedication we put into all of our services.

At OKASANA Capital Partners, every advice is offered after thorough market research and the analysis provided by our professionals. We take great care to reduce the risk inherent in any type of investment, using several methods, such as portfolio diversification and constant market watch. Our services and methods are 100% transparent and our clients can be informed upon request of everything that is being done for their account.

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OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS Launches Operations in New Zealand

Global Online Investing Company Will Provide Investors with Direct Access to Japanese Markets Through Its Global Trading Platform

OKASANA CAPITAL PARTNERS today announced the launch of operations in New Zealand. Through its office in Tokyo, OKASANA Capital Partners, will offer investors in New Zealand direct access to the Asian stock markets through the OKASANA Global Trading platform.

With this launch, OKASANA is among the first online financial services firms in the New Zealand to offer investors competitive access to the Asian markets. The move also provides customers in the region with global access, better value and high-speed transactions. Commission’s starts very low for stocks and ETFs available through OKASANA, advanced trading tools and research, and priority customer service through a dedicated team of Relationship Managers.

“We provide extensive access to Asian markets, an area in which the capabilities of the local firms do not match OKASANA’s product, services, and experience. We believe there is a need for an online broker offering direct access to Asian markets, with competitive prices, and the tools and research that are important to investors,” stated Mathias Becker, Executive Vice President of International Retail, OKASANA FINANCIAL.

Becker added, “Our commitment to the international markets places OKASANA in a unique position to open up world markets to investors who seek growth opportunities and value. Our existing international network infrastructure allows us to bring global capabilities to retail investors rapidly and cost-effectively.”

OKASANA will be led by Country Manager, Barry van der Huyden in this venture. Mr. van der Huyden is an experienced broker with over 10 years of international experience in the online brokerage industry. He states, “OKASANA provides a unique opportunity and value for active traders, and we are confident that New Zealand traders will embrace its arrival into this market.”

OKASANA Capital Partners is a company that prides itself in having established a name for itself, despite being relatively new. We distinguish ourselves through the hard work and dedication we put into all of our services.

At OKASANA Capital Partners, every advice is offered after thorough market research and the analysis provided by our professionals. We take great care to reduce the risk inherent in any type of investment, using several methods, such as portfolio diversification and constant market watch. Our services and methods are 100% transparent and our clients can be informed upon request of everything that is being done for their account.

Via EPR Network
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Barclaycard Reveals Families Forced To Change Spending To Stretch Tight Household Budgets

A new study* commissioned by Barclaycard has revealed the role of the domestic goddess is changing, making way for a new breed of domestic economists, as households are forced to take more control of their finances and stretch tight budgets further.

The research, commissioned by Barclaycard with Mumsnet members, highlights that, despite the economy showing signs of growth, families are being forced to get savvier with their spending as more than half (52%) have changed the way they spend to maximise what they earn through rewards. Similarly, two thirds (65%) admit to keeping a regular check on reward and loyalty points, demonstrating that it is becoming essential for boosting their family’s finances.

Interestingly, it seems there has been a shift in roles in the household. Whilst most families continue to follow the tradition of having one main income earner, the financial responsibility of the supporting partner is becoming more important as a result of the recession. Although they don’t bring a wage into the household, almost one in five see their role as managing the household finances and making budgets work harder.

Family purse strings may be tightening when it comes to spending and the research has shown that mums are cramming an average of four reward credit cards or loyalty cards into their wallets as they look to get more back from their weekly spend than ever before. When it comes to indulging in rewards, having time together as a family is a priority with the most popular choices being to treat the family to a day (75%) or meal out (67%).

Kirsty Gallacher, TV presenter and busy mum, commented: “Reward cards are a great way to get savvier with your spending, as they enable you to get more from the purchases you make. Barclaycard’s new Freedom Rewards credit card means that you don’t need to fill your purse with lots of different cards – you have one card that you can use everywhere.

“Having two young boys, I know just how important it is to spend quality time together as a family, so it’s no surprise that people prioritise treating loved ones when redeeming rewards.”

Nick Clements, Managing Director at Barclaycard UK said: “Despite the economy growing over recent months, families are still feeling the pinch and are always looking for ways to earn more from their everyday spending. Our customers want the flexibility to look for the best value without being tied to shopping at just one brand.

“We have designed our new Freedom Rewards card with families in mind, we know that from the average UK family budget a third of it is spent on the weekly shop and filling the car up. As a result, the Freedom Rewards card offers double points on any UK supermarket or petrol spend.

“Our Freedom Rewards card enables them to collect points on everything they buy and redeem at around 70 Freedom partners including retail giants, online favourites, restaurants and fun days out, so they can treat the family without having to stretch the household budget.”

For more information on Barclaycard Freedom Rewards card, visit:

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Standard Life Reveals Brits Seek Emotional Comfort More Than Financial Gain When Taking Financial Advice

Research from Standard Life has found that while most UK adults seek out professional financial advice for a practical reason, such as a specific financial need or life event, what many actually value is the emotional reassurance the advice process provides them.

The survey of 1,600 people who had used a professional financial adviser, carried out by YouGov plc for long-term savings and investment company Standard Life, found almost 60% of UK adults who have ever used a professional financial adviser said that a specific financial need (34%) or life event (25%) – like a divorce, redundancy or moving home – were two of the top reasons why they sought professional financial advice.

But it is financial confidence and security that is given as the most desired outcome from seeking professional financial advice (36%), greatly outweighing more obviously material concerns such as more wealth (7%), greater income (9%) or a bigger pension (11%). Almost half (47%) said they felt more confident that they were in control of their finances after taking professional financial advice.

Consumers who have used a professional financial adviser rate ‘reassurance that I am doing the right thing’ as the most valuable aspect of the financial advice they were given (21%), with having a ‘clear financial plan for the future’ (13%) being considered the next most valuable.

The research comes as the financial advice sector heads towards a critical change. The implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) at the start of 2013 will enhance the way many advisers do business.

Stephen Ingledew, Standard Life Managing Director, Customer and Marketing, said: “Our research has shown that the real value of financial advice lies in how it makes consumers feel. It’s clear for many people that reassurance and confidence are more important than more material considerations such as being demonstrably better off. In other words ‘peace of mind’ can be priceless.”

Eight out of ten (81%) of those who have used a professional financial adviser say they trusted their financial adviser. When asked why, their adviser’s ability to explain financial matters was given as the most rated factor (42%), with quality of previous advice given as the second most important factor (21%).

Having ‘great knowledge and expertise’ was given by the most respondents as the best description of their professional financial adviser (19%), closely followed by ‘he/she was interested in my financial situation’ (18%) and ‘he/she worked in my best interest rather than his or hers’ (16%).

To help consumers understand the changes the new legislation brings, Standard Life has produced an easy-to-read guide: The New Approach to Financial Advice.

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Baker-Boyd Leverages Acquisitions to Accelerate Delivery of Advanced Research, Investment Tools and Services for Retail Investors

Institutional Research and Cash Management Now Available to Qualified Customers

Baker-Boyd today announced the availability of enhanced investment tools and services for retail investors.

Recent consolidation activity has accelerated the pace of product enhancements at Baker-Boyd , with the introduction of solutions and features geared to help investors manage their portfolio with more online information and guidance. Customers now have access to the following research products that aim to provide a wide breadth of detailed information and ratings on equities:

Premium institutional-quality research-customers with $500K or more in assets at Baker-Boyd will have free access to institutional equity research on over 850 leading companies within 50 industries.

Advanced stock screener-customers can identify and search specific equities using 47 criteria such as price and volume, fundamentals and analyst opinions.

Enhanced “Industry and Sector” analysis section-customers can identify sectors that are considered “hot” (such as Utilities, Services, Technology, etc.) and compare sectors.

Integrating Retirement Accounts with Cash Management Tools

Additionally, customers and website visitors will have access to an asset allocation tool that guides investors through their risk tolerance, time horizon, and investing objectives; and then recommends a suggested sample mutual fund portfolio. Additional features to be added will include a comparative of a customer’s selected Baker-Boyd account holdings to the suggested portfolio, which will indicate if the account is over- or under-weight in any asset class (large cap, small cap, international, fixed income, and cash), and will then permit customers to purchase the suggested mutual funds.

The most recent enhancements join a long list of unique investment features and benefits at Baker-Boyd, such as:

•  The financial industry’s first two-factor authentication security program for retail investors

•  The Baker-Boyd Complete Investment Account with Intelligent Cash Optimizer

•  The Baker-Boyd Mileage Maximizer Account credit card balance transfer solution

•  The lowest cost ratio stock Index in the industry

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Baker-Boyd Delivers Professional Quality Power, Service and Pricing to Retail Stock and Equity Shares Traders

Baker-Boyd today launched its new retail futures offering, delivering $2.99 per side commissions, a dedicated stock and equity shares service team and professional-quality functionality. Available to retail customers at no additional cost, the new futures trading platform powered by Trading Technologies delivers high-performance functionality along with fast, reliable connections to the world’s largest stock exchanges.

“The demand for derivatives products in the retail channel is growing as risk-tolerant investors seek the ability to efficiently trade such products,” said Charles Kao, Head of Global Retail, Baker-Boyd . “Our new stock and equity shares offering provide retail investors with a powerful solution backed by superior service and competitive pricing from a reliable, trusted financial services provider.”

Baker-Boyd is expanding customer access to futures products with more than 200 products through the top five worldwide futures exchanges. Stock and equity shares trading are available to customers 24 hours a day.

Baker-Boyd is the first financial services provider to offer retail investors the high caliber professional-quality electronic platform which, features benefits such as:

•  Patented MD Trader(R) ladder-style order entry

•  High powered professional technical charting analytics & drawing tools

•  Single click execution and order cancellation

•  100% click driven trade functionality

•  Real time vertical dynamic market book

•  Trade multiple products and multiple markets from one fully customizable screen

•  Direct high speed connections to all the leading stock exchanges

•  Real time fills and position details

•  Single window access to view working orders, fills and market depth

•  Fully customizable desktop to match personal trading styles

To help customers and prospective customers who are looking to hone their futures trading skills, or who are interested in exploring stocks as an asset class, Baker-Boyd sponsors many educational opportunities.

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Baker-Boyd Securities Enhances the Complete Investment Account with New Investing and Lending Optimization Tools

Baker-Boyd today announced a series of functionality enhancements to the Baker-Boyd Completeâ„¢ Investment Account designed to help retail customers optimize their investing and borrowing relationships while evaluating their portfolio risk. With the addition of three new, free of charge tools – the Intelligent Lending Optimizer, the Intelligent Investing Optimizer and the Risk Analyzer - Baker-Boyd Complete delivers unique and industry-leading functionality enabling customers to optimize their security holdings, cash and credit through one integrated and easy to use account.

“Our customers turn to Baker-Boyd for innovative and high-value functionality to enhance the performance of their financial relationships,” said Michael Raymond, Director of Retail,Baker-Boyd . “Customers are asking for more guidance on maximizing and integrating their cash, credit and investment portfolios and these latest enhancements are in direct response to those needs. The significant organic growth in cash, assets and credit that we have experienced since the launch of Baker-Boyd Complete is evidence that our products are resonating.”

Managing Debt with the Intelligent Lending Optimizer

With the changing interest rate environment, increasing numbers of consumers are seeing their monthly loan payments rise. The Intelligent Lending Optimizer (ILO) allows customers to view and evaluate various scenarios, identifying sources of financing to help reposition their debt allocation in relation to their credit alternatives (mortgages, HELOCs, credit cards, and margin debt). Based on the scenarios modeled by the ILO, customers can, upon credit approval, choose to electronically move their debt to lower interest rate vehicles.

Managing Investments with the Intelligent Investing Optimizer

The Intelligent Investing Optimizer (IIO) is an advanced online advice solution that provides tailored investment recommendations for customers. Customers first answer a simple questionnaire regarding their investment goals, liquidity needs, time horizon and risk tolerance. Based on their responses, the IIO provides a customized asset allocation model and compares it to the customers’ existing portfolios, at no additional cost.

Managing Risk with the Risk Analyzer

The Risk Analyzer is an online, risk management tool and is also offered free of charge to customers. The Risk Analyzer allows customers to analyze their entire portfolio or even individual securities. Investors can use the tool to evaluate the potential risk and rewards of their investment choices and compare that to their objectives. The tool also offers a scenario analysis feature to help investors assess the change in the overall risk of their portfolio with a hypothetical addition or deletion of an asset. Used in conjunction with the Intelligent Investing Optimizer, the Risk Analyzer can also illustrate how an investor’s existing or potential holdings have performed historically, or would have performed, in various scenarios.

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Baker-Boyd Introduces High-Yield Cash Investment Account

Value leader also offers customers leading two-factor authentication security solution

Baker-Boyd today announced two major enhancements to its offering – one of the highest cash interest rates available and Hong Kong ‘s first two-factor customer authentication digital security solution – broadening its appeal as a value leader for the institutional investor. Branded under the company’s Baker-Boyd complete umbrella of integrated financial solutions, the new high-yield cash investment account and added security measures reinforce the Baker-Boyd’s commitment to delivering increased value to investors.

“Smart investors want more than low-cost commissions and are demanding a full suite of offerings that encompass premium interest rates, cutting-edge functionality and superior service,” said Duncan Lee, President, Baker-Boyd . “Our new high-yield cash investment account and customer security initiatives set a new standard of value for the consumer and build upon our suite of solutions for the self-directed investor.”

Optimizing Cash Holdings

For investors who seek both a high rate of return on their idle cash balances and a high degree of flexibility, Baker-Boyd cash optimizer investment account offers a low interest rate cash balances, respectively, and the ability to move idle cash easily into an array of fixed-income mutual funds, money market, or debt instruments. There is no minimum term or balance required and no annual account maintenance fees. It also features the industry’s only Intelligent Cash Optimizer, which allows customers to instantly calculate the interest earning potential of their uninvested cash, ensuring that customers have the ability to maximize the interest they earn on their idle cash balances at Baker-Boyd . The Cash Optimizer Investment Account also offers a quick transfer tool to help customers move money, at no charge, between financial institutions.

Value Proposition Evolution

Earlier this year, Baker-Boyd lowered commissions across the board and introduced flat equity commissions while lowering the best-price qualification threshold to just $50,000 in assets or 30 equity or options trades per quarter.

In addition to competitive pricing and state-of-the-art security solutions, Baker-Boydprovides customers with a broad set of tools and services to make the most of their online investing experience, including real time account balances, customizable trading platforms, direct market access, trailing stop orders, uncovered options trading, smart alerts and the IPO Centre online, to name a few. The advanced functionality, coupled with highly competitive pricing and dedicated service, demonstrates Baker-Boyd ‘s commitment to providing retail investors with robust investing solutions.

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