|Structured Settlements Information|
The Target Capital Structure
Firms can choose whatever mix of debt and equity they desire to finance their assets, subject to the willingness of investors to provide such funds. And, as we shall see, there exist many different mixes of debt and equity, or capital structures - in some firms, such as Chrysler Corporation, debt accounts for more than 70 percent of the financing, while other firms, such as Microsoft, have little or no debt.
In the next few sections, we discuss factors that affect a firm's capital structure, and we conclude a firm should attempt to determine what its optimal, or best, mix of financing should be. But, you will find that determining the exact optimal capital structure is not a science, so after analyzing a number of factors, a firm establishes a target capital structure it believes is optimal, which is then used as a guide for raising funds in the future. This target might change over time as conditions vary, but at any given moment the firm's management has a specific capital structure in mind, and individual financing decisions should be consistent with this target. If the actual proportion of debt is below the target level, new funds will probably be raised by issuing debt, whereas if the proportion of debt is above the target, stock will probably be sold to bring the firm back in line with the target debt/assets ratio.
Capital structure policy involves a trade-off between risk and return. Using more debt raises the riskiness of the firm's earnings stream, but a higher propor- tion of debt generally leads to a higher expected rate of return; and, we know that the higher risk associated with greater debt tends to lower the stock's price. At the same time, however, the higher expected rate of return makes the stock more attractive to investors, which, in turn, ultimately increases the stock's price. Therefore, the optimal capital structure is the one that strikes a balance between risk and return to achieve our ultimate goal of maximizing the price of the stock.
Four primary factors influence capital structure decisions:
1. The first is the firm's business risk, or the riskiness that would be inherent in the firm's operations if it used no debt. The greater the firm's business risk, the lower the amount of debt that is optimal.
2. The second key factor is the firm's tax position. A major reason for using debt is that interest is tax deductible, which lowers the effective cost of debt. However, if much of a firm's income is already sheltered from taxes by accelerated depreciation or tax loss carryforwards, its tax rate will be low, and debt will not be as advantageous as it would be to a firm with a higher effective tax rate.
3. The third important consideration is financial flexibility, or the ability to raise capital on reasonable terms under adverse conditions. Corporate treasurers know that a steady supply of capital is necessary for stable operations, which, in turn, are vital for long-run success. They also know that when money is tight in the economy, or when a firm is experiencing operating difficulties, a strong balance sheet is needed to obtain funds from suppliers of capital. Thus, it might be advantageous to issue equity to strengthen the firm's capital base and financial stability.
4. The fourth debt-determining factor has to do with managerial attitude (conservatism or aggressiveness) with regard to borrowing. Some managers are more aggressive than others, hence some firms are more inclined to use debt in an effort to boost profits. This factor does not affect the optimal, or value- maximizing, capital structure, but it does influence the target capital structure a firm actually establishes.
These four points largely determine the target capital structure, but, as we shall see, operating conditions can cause the actual capital structure to vary from the target at any given time. For example, as discussed in the Managerial Perspective at the beginning of the chapter, the debt/assets ratio of Unisys clearly has been . much higher than its target, and the company has taken some significant correc- tive actions in recent years to improve its financial position.
Structured Settlement ? Guaranteed Income for those with Disabilities
Up until twenty years ago, anyone who won a lawsuit as a result of a claim involving worker's compensation, wrongful death or accident had to accept a lump sum payment as their compensation. The payment would be intended to be invested, with the beneficiary living off of the proceeds for as long as their recovery was expected to take. In many cases, this type of settlement works fine, but in other cases, the results are a disaster.It is difficult enough for someone who has been through the trauma of an accident or illness to have to adjust to a new lifestyle without having to also become an expert in the art of financial investing. If you have been active all of your life and you suddenly find yourself in a wheelchair and having to handle assets of several hundred thousand dollars or more, you could be overwhelmed. You could hire someone to handle the investments for you as well as the tax issues, but what if the person you hired wasn't trustworthy? What if you hired a greedy relative who took all of the money? What if you hired someone incompetent? These problems, and statistics that show that people who receive large sums as compensation for accident, injury, or wrongful death often spend all of their money in a short period of time, led to Congressional action in 1982 that amended the Federal tax code to allow for structured settlements. A structured settlement is simply an agreement between the responsible party and the injured party that the payments will be made over time, rather than in a lump sum. The two parties reach an agreement, the party responsible for payment purchases an annuity, usually through an insurance company, and the injured party will receive steady income over a period of years or even a lifetime.The payments are adjusted for inflation; the sum of all of the payments will be greater than if the amount had been paid as a lump sum. Because the payments are purchased up front as an annuity, the paying party actually pays less than the sum of the payments, as well. The result is generally a win-win situation, with the injured party receiving a steady stream of income over as long a period of time as necessary, while the paying party does not have to worry about making monthly or annual payments. While a structured settlement is not the ideal payment arrangement in all situations where a long term injury settlement occurs, it does work well in many cases where a lump sum payout might be undesirable.
Structured Settlements Offer Advantages over Lump-Sum Payments
A structured settlement, which offers injury victims cash payments through a long-term annuity as compensation for their damages and medical expenses, offer a number of possible advantages over payment in a lump sum. While the lump sum payment is the traditional way for responsible parties to pay accident claims, the structured settlement offers payments over the span of an agreed-upon period of time. This length of time may span from several years up to the remainder of the life of the injured party, depending on the severity of the accident, the amount of money involved, and the agreement reached between the two parties. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, structured settlements can have numerous advantages over a lump-sum payment: They are tax free. Thanks to a 1982 change in the Federal tax code, payments on a structured settlement are free of state and Federal taxes. The paying party funds the settlement through the purchase of an annuity which earns the interest to fund the continued payments. This is not the case with a lump-sum payment, which the injured party must invest themselves. Any interest earned on those investments are taxable. They are potentially safer. Most people who come into a large sum of money suddenly find that they are quite popular with long-lost relatives, unscrupulous purveyors of investment schemes, and good, old-fashioned thieves. By receiving payments in substantially smaller amounts, the beneficiaries of a structured settlement have far fewer worries about having others take advantage of them, which could leave them both poor and without adequate medical care. They are simply less trouble. It's difficult enough to adjust to changes in your life if you are seriously injured without having to also take the new responsibility of investing and managing a large sum of money. Not only must you invest the money, but you must invest it wisely, knowing that it must continue to fund your living and/or health care expenses. The regular payments of a structured settlement, along with their tax-free status, simplify day to day living considerably.While they are not ideal for everyone, particularly those who are experienced investors or those who need a large sum of money at once for immediate medical expenses or the purchase of a home, structured settlements can offer a simpler, safer payment solution for many people who are victims of an accident or injury.
Me'Lisa Delaney, 43, is brain-injured as a result of a 1984 medical error that caused a stroke during surgery. The hospital agreed to settle via a structured settlement, as overseen by a county conservatorship.
Offshore Asset Protection Trusts for US Citizens
When it comes to discussing offshore anything and US citizens - from offshore trusts to investments, from offshore banking to company incorporation - it's important to note the following facts: -
Annuity Transfer - What Are the Risks
Many people who know in the back of their minds that they got the possibility to transform a monthly payment or annuity long term payments into a big lump sum and by that to relieve some temporarily financial problems, or need to buy a new car or a house or help their children and so forth are tempted to exercise this process into action. Although it is a very natural feeling and sometimes even a real life need or deep inner quest for power and control, it is not in their best financial interest to say the least.
Should You Sell Your Structured Settlement?
The courts have just awarded you a settlement in the amount of $1.3 million dollars for injuries you sustained while using the Widget Corporation's product. However, the terms of the settlement require that Widget pay you a small amount right now, with the remaining funds to be dispersed over the next 20 years. This "structured settlement" works fine for some people, but you have medical bills that need to be paid now. What can you do about it? Answer: you can sell your structured settlement and receive additional cash now.
The Cash Now Question
If you have ever been in a bind for cash you know the stress, the weight of not being able to pay your bills. In these desperate times, desperate measures are often taken. Expensive loans, overused credit cards, and a snowball of events quickly complicate your financial position. Once the collectors begin their relentless pursuit of your sanity, the road to financial prosperity seems a million miles away. On the scene arrives your hero, the "Cash Now" guy.
Class Action Lawsuits
First of all, let me say that anyone who has been in any way hurt or injured by any other party and settled through a class action lawsuit, disregard this article. I am more interested in the little frivolous lawsuits that award pitiful amounts to offended parties who most likely had no idea they were offended.
Investing in Structured Settlements
Often some derelict will be awarded some huge amount of money from a noble company due to a run away jury in a Kangaroo Court. Since many times the company paying the money out agrees on a structured over time settlement, the plaintiff of course is a lowly human and has lots of desires for riches and he has little if any cranial capacity to understand the enormous gift the courts have grated him as our nation turns in to a socialist quagmire of re-distributing wealth to those who do not deserve it. Yes a few have been damaged and do deserve something, but usually not. If you disagree with that, you are wrong and I am right.
Structured Settlement as an Investment Vehicle
You always hear people talking about the latest investment vehicle they're using. It's water cooler talk, dinner table talk, phone talk, it's everywhere talk. People are always looking for a way to invest their money that might be a little 'different' from what others are doing. Buying a structured settlement is one of those options.
When Should You Not Cash Out Your Annuity?
You should not cash out your annuity when it's not in your best interest. Here are 3 reasons it might not be in your best interest; it's too soon, you don't have a good enough reason, it will cost you too much. Every day someone cashes out their annuity or settlement when it might not have been in their best interest. It's an easy mistake to make when the call of money and burden of financial stress is weighing heavily on you. But read carefully and maybe you can avoid digging the hole deeper.
A Revolutionary Fundraising Opportunity -- Life Settlements
Amid fundraisers' growing concerns about the current charitable giving climate, dampened by the erratic stock market and shaky economy, a new fundraising opportunity has emerged ? Life Settlements.
Structured Settlements ? Should You Sell Yours?
In recent years, it has become more common for victims of accidental injury who accept a settlement from the at-fault party to accept a structured settlement instead of a lump-sum payment. With a structured settlement, the injured party receives payments over an agreed-upon length of time ? five years, ten years, or even a lifetime, rather than receiving payment up front in a lump sum.There are advantages to this for both parties. The injured party may require constant medical care, and the regular payments of a structured settlement guarantee that income will be available to cover the medical expenses. For the paying party, the settlement can be paid by purchasing an annuity, which allows an upfront payment to accrue interest, thereby producing a larger long-term yield from a minimal investment. In many cases, a structured settlement is viewed as a win-win situation for both parties.There are restrictions on structured settlements that may not suit everyone. Once you agree to accept a structured settlement, you cannot trade it back in for a lump sum payment, nor may you use it for collateral for a loan. What if you want to buy a home and pay cash? What if some other unexpected expense comes up and you simply do not have the cash available? Under certain circumstances, you may be able to sell your structured settlement to a third party.There are companies that are interested in purchasing structured settlements for investment purposes. Perhaps one or more of these companies has already contacted you. They will agree to pay you a lump sum, in cash, in exchange for you signing over your future annuity payments to them. Be aware that any party that offers to buy your annuity is interested in doing so for investment purposes. They wish to make money on the transaction, and for them, that profit will be spread over the long time that it takes to receive all of the payments that constitute the settlement. Once you combine the factors of time, interest, inflation, and the buying party's profit, you will find that the offer made to you will seem quite small. The amount you receive will be an amount equal to the present day value of the settlement, minus whatever sum the investors require for their profit on the transaction.You should also know that some states prohibit the sale of structured settlements, that some insurance companies who handle the annuities prohibit sales to a third party, and that you will probably need to go to court to arrange the sale. In addition, there may be tax considerations involved in the sale, and the taxes due on large sums of money are not insignificant. If you are interested in selling your structured settlement, you will definitely want to discuss the sale with an attorney and a tax advisor beforehand.While structured settlements are designed to benefit those who receive them, there are times when it may be desirable or necessary to sell them. If you are considering selling your settlement, make sure that you weigh all of your options carefully. Once you agree to sell, you cannot get it back.
Surviving High Debt States
Are you more likely to have more debt according to what state you live in? In a recent report done by Experian on the debt averages per state, the answer is yes! The report, compiled from approximately 3 million consumers nationwide, shows that the North East states of New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island have the highest average overall debt in the nation of $16,845, $15,314 and $14,643. The report measures overall debt of a consumer; everything present on a credit report, including credit cards and installment debts but excluding mortgage debt. Massachusetts, Maine and Delaware also followed closely behind the top three.
How To Form a UK Limited Company
When starting a business, a large number of people go down the route of forming a limited company or, to give it its full title, a limited liability company.
Have you ever looked around and wondered how everyone is buying houses? Are they really doing that much better than you are? Maybe. Maybe not. Some people have gone deep into debt to purchase a home and are teetering on the brink of financial free fall. Others used creative unconventional financing to afford a home. There may be not-yet discovered risks and consequences to this type of home financing. But there is a fairly substantial group of people who were able to buy a house because they were the recipients of some unexpected or untraditional cash windfall.
If This Describes You, Dont Cash out Your Annuity
There are companies that purchase future payments. Personal injury settlements are often structured to pay out over time. As are a portion of lottery wins, paid via an annuity over a period of 20 or more years. There are companies, under the authority of state and federal regulations, that will accelerate future payments and pay out a lump sum of cash now.
The Cost of Not Having Money
The self-esteem factor of not having enough money is underestimated. You know what I mean don't you? The agony of financially struggling and the ecstasy of financial abundance are dramatically different moments in a person's life. And I for one would choose the abundance over the struggling any day.
What is a Structured Settlement
A Structured Settlement is an agreement between a personal injury victim ( a Plaintiff ) and an Insurance company ( the Defendant )to compensate the Plaintiff by the defendant with long term periodicpayments instead of a single cash lump sum.
What is a Trust and what are the Benefits?
Trusts are becoming a popular way to structure business and personal affairs. If you are considering using a trust in any way, you should be clear on the legal obligations and the relationships involved. Always make sure you obtain proper advice before setting up a trust. Most lawyers are proficient in this area, but it is still advisable to talk to a legal advisor specialising in this area.
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