Enjoy Your Life With Latest Games

Online gaming is one of the remarkable inventions that is ever made by modern science. The total number of games that are being played across the globe is truly uncountable. This entertainment resource is one of most popular choices of entertainment among the children as well as teens. Not only an online game serves as a high-class entertainment, it is also a good medium to meet other online players from different places or countries. Most of latest games are made on the flash platform.

Online gaming is not only the source of enjoyment for the game enthusiasts all over globe, but is also growing to be one of the most lucrative businesses. The websites which provide plenty of latest games get gigantic amount of hits and therefore they become fabulous advertising tools for most marketing campaigns.

There are numerous types of latest games available on the Internet, such as shooting games, adventure, fighting, racing and many more. The shooting games are sub-genre of action frolic because shooters get the opportunity to take part in most adventurous actions. Under the category of shooting games, the player usually views the events from behind the eyes of the main character, normally a few feet behind the shooter. They are based on high-end features and most of the times they are based on popular films. These are the favorite tools for doing time pass for the shooting enthusiasts. These games have been favorite among the kids as well as teenagers. The shooting games either require you to fulfill one particular mission and in some cases, just let you to kill the enemies without any proper mission. There you just have to clear the game stages.

Free online games also include space related games, wherein your aeroplane just goes on shooting meteorites and other targets, which come in the way of your space craft. In the middle of the game, you can also get some surplus power that can add extra strength to the players’ plane, such as power missiles, protecting rings, multi way missile and many more. Therefore, these are considered as great stress relievers.

Innovations have always been a rife part of most of the new types of activity conceived by mankind and hence the facet of invention is also a part prevailing in the world of online gaming. These inventions are quite absorbing in terms of their game-play and hence increase the pleasant experience of playing the latest games. An individual who is playing an online game can chat with his antagonist in a real time multi-player game and he can also win money.

The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same With High School Fashion Styles

Value is hot! Most of us will look for deals like shopping at J.C. Penny, Kohl’s and department stores that have value And name brands. We all “grow up” during high school (well most of us). High school fashions today declare who we are while we are. We are honing our socialization skills and finding what fashions reflect who we are. This is why there are various looks that high school students have. We’ve included just a few:

Most of us think by merely donning the varsity team jacket will somehow transform our look into “jock mode.” However this does not hide our poor fashion sense or lack there of and neither do large letters and colors of the high school. The ultimate way to key into the Jock Look is by going out for a school sport and making the team and earning the right to wear that jacket. And by sport and team I am not referring to the varsity chess team.

We all remember the geeks and nerds don’t we, and some of them were actually us. Usually none by their “un-cool” clothing these prodigies are usually so engulfed with numerous projects that they could care less about what they wear. As with all changes in fashion trends, actually having geeky clothing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Let’s face it, geeks and nerds are thriving because of the fact that everyone has a computer. Do you recall when role playing gamers were known to be Satan worshippers? Well today some of them are none as world class cyber athletes. This high school fashion can be scored by being preoccupied with solving the problems of the universe and by wearing a shirt with a witty saying or technological jargon a face it.

While this high school fashion is popular among fans of rock bands making a statement is a definite plus with those we call, “rockers”. These are usually shirts that make statements or shirts featuring their favorite band. This fashion usually includes a ton of trinkets and studded bracelets or a tribal necklace. With this high school fashion you need to take on the “appropriate” attitude to go with it. Being passionate about music is of course essential and having an IPOD or headphones will cinch the look. For the guarantee of turning girls heads a pair of drumsticks or a guitar case will do the trick as well.

Most of us think of BLACK when referring to the Goth fashion of high school clothing. Whether fortunately or not this is not just a high school fashion it is used by numerous people who wish to make statements of sorrow. The accessories are the key really; such as, black eyeliner and lipstick. Don’t be swain by thinking these Goths are dressing as such to show their individuality; more or less this form of dress is more commonly done to be included in a group and sort of blend in with people who want to show that they belong.

The toughest fashion look to maintain as you must always stay atop the latest high fashions racing from store to store to obtain the first best outfit ever. Well you also have to know what is “cool” and what is definitely “not cool”. And as a true fashionista, you must launch the highest standard of high school fashion.

This is just a few of the high school fashions a foot at your local high school so get out there and look around your local high school and catch one today or create a new one.

Buying Furniture: Use a Website or Home Furniture Showroom?

When buying furniture, many people are undecided whether to buy from a home furniture showroom or from a website. The feeling is generally that online is easier and also more convenient, but that buying from a showroom or mall store is safer. Are they right or not?

Unfortunately there is no distinct answer to this question, because those marketing using each of the above options claim they are the best and safest. There is little evidence either way regarding the security of your payment details. There have been problems with leaked details online, and with credit card cloning offline, so quite frankly you are best to ignore that aspect.

The vast majority have no problems using either method, and it comes down to which is best for you. Is it more convenient to buy online? Sure it is! Is it best to by online? That is your decision to make, but with furniture one thing is clear – you have a far better choice online, but you get a better view of your furniture in a mall store or home furniture showroom before you pay for it.

So which is best? Neither! You need to think about the benefits and drawbacks of each method of purchasing furniture and try to eliminate the negative aspects of each while combining their strengths or benefits. Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each, while keeping in mind that the weakness of one will likely be a strength of the other.

Buying Furniture Online

Large Choice of Manufacturers: The main advantage of buying furniture online is that you can visit a large number of online furniture store websites in a morning. You can check out Sherrill Furniture for a good selection of upholstered chairs and sofas, Simply Amish for some mission or Shaker furniture for your kitchen, Southwood Furniture for a selection of beautiful reproduction furniture and L. & J.G. Stickley Furniture for beautiful living room and dining room furniture.

Made in America: These are just some examples of American furniture manufacturers that offer products that are 100% made in the USA. So another advantage of buying online is that if you are patriotic, you can find the truly American companies where every item is made in America. Try that in your local shopping mall, and you will struggle to find products that are made in the USA by American craftsmen and women using sustainable American wood.

Online Room Planners: Several furniture outlets or dealers offer design services or online room planners for your use. In fact, you can often rely on finding a room planner on the website of a manufacturer. After entering the dimensions of your room, you get a scale model of it and you can add similarly scaled thumbnails of your furniture choices to add to it by the click of a button. That way you can see how your furniture choices fit into your rooms.

Easy Ordering: Some online furniture stores allow you to order and pay online. We are assuming here that online and offline payment methods are equally secure, which they generally are. However, sometimes it is too easy to order online with a credit card, and you can easily overspend

Buying from a Home Furniture Showroom

See Your Furniture Live: By far the biggest advantage of buying furniture from a mall store or furniture showroom is that you see what you are paying for. It might look great on your computer, but how does it look in the flesh? Is the color truly what you want, and is the wood grained the way you want it?

Ease of Operation: These recliners and lift chairs sound marvelous, but how do they actually work? Is that recliner easy to operate with your arthritic hands? Is that lift chair gentle or will it shoot you out into the room on your hands and knees when you want to stand up? It is important that you understand how your choice of motion furniture operates, and that it is suitable for you or your elderly relative.

Ask the Right Questions: When buying furniture you will likely have a few questions to ask. How do you do that online? Have you ever tried to get a quick answer online? They do not exist! One of the strengths of buying from a home furniture showroom is that you can ask the questions you want to ask, and you get an instant answer.

Conclusions

Our conclusion is that you can use the benefits of each of these methods. You can select your furniture line from the websites of your favorite manufacturers – or even better, select a reputable local dealer and check out all the suppliers it offers. A good dealer will offer products from good American furniture manufacturers such as those mentioned above.

Make your choices online, giving yourself some options or alternatives then visit the home furniture showroom of the dealer concerned. Check out the items you have selected live, and if they seem fine, pay for them. You get the benefit of online selection and offline live viewing and payment security!

The Pros and Cons of Group Health Insurance

The health insurance marketplace is certainly challenging, but count your lucky stars that at least you have choices. To that end, this article is going to explore the pros and cons of group health insurance.

Group Health Insurance Pros

  • Group health premiums are subsidized by the employer. Generally, an employer must contribute at least 50% of the “employee only” premium. As such, if you are the employee, you can likely get a richer health plan for less premium than you would pay in the individual health marketplace. However, the cost to add your dependents to the employer’s plan, may be cost prohibitive. In this case, and assuming that your dependents can qualify, then you may want to put them on an individual health plan.
  • Group health premiums for large families are the same as for small families; whereas in the individual market, you pay a separate premium for every family member. So, if you have a large family, you may be able to get a better deal by adding them to your employer’s plan. As with any insurance change though, don’t make any changes without consulting with an experienced insurance advisor in your state.
  • Group health insurance in most states is guaranteed issue – meaning that you can’t be turned down because of pre-existing health conditions. This is a real blessing if you or a family member has a medical condition that prevents you from qualifying for a individual plan. But, this is a double-edged sword. While being guaranteed issue is a huge benefit for those with pre-existing medical conditions, it does come at a price. This one feature alone accounts for most of the disparity between group and individual insurance premiums. Yes, that is right – in most states, individual health premiums are almost always less expensive than group health premiums.
  • Most group plans cover maternity. So, if you are planning on having more children, you should definitely consider hopping on to a group plan. While you can add a “maternity rider” to individual plans, these riders tend to be expensive, restrictive, and otherwise provide less value than the coverage you can get in a group health plan. That being said, if you are considering having more children, we recommend that you contact a health insurance advisor in your state for advice about what is best for your family. The right answer is different for each unique family.
  • Economies of scale can benefit employees of large employers. It is true that the larger the group, the larger the risk pool is in which to share the risk which CAN result in lower premiums than are available in the individual health market. However, the guaranteed issue “issue” CAN wreak havoc on this type of plan. For example, a large employer with good benefits tends to retain employees for long periods of time. Eventually, the average age of the group starts to creep up and so do premiums. In addition, people with large medical needs (expensive medical conditions) tend to be attracted to large plans because they are guaranteed issue with good coverage. And so, over time, not only is the group’s average age increasing, but the group is also attracting employees with large expected health costs. This is the dilemma that we see with large health plans like the U.S. auto-makers and even government plans. Eventually, those with lots of medical needs begin to outnumber those with little or no needs and so premiums are driven higher and higher.

Group Health Insurance Cons

  • Group health insurance can be more expensive than individual health insurance. ln fact, if you don’t factor in the employer’s contribution towards premiums, then individual plans are almost always more affordable than group plans. However, as we discussed earlier, not every one can qualify for an individual plan.
  • What happens if your employment is terminated (by you or your employer)? Yes, you will likely have some benefit continuation rights (through COBRA or state continuation programs), but these benefits can be very expensive and the term limited. So, eventually, you either have to secure another job with benefits, an individual health plan (assuming you are insurable), or possibly join a government health insurance program for the uninsured (if you are not insurable). Let me emphasize, that you should NEVER be without some form of major medical health insurance. Being without this insurance puts you and your family in serious financial jeopardy. In fact, a recent Harvard University study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses.ยน To the same point, every 30 seconds in the United States, someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem. Don’t let this happen to you.
  • Group health insurance premiums are rising faster than individual health insurance premiums. Why? Because most group plans are guaranteed issue and since they accept “all comers”, they tend to attract those with high medical costs. On the other hand, most individual health insurance plans are medically underwritten. This means that the insurance company can say “no thanks” to any application that it deems to not be in its interest. Put yourself in their shoes – would sign a contract to provide $30,000 in annual benefits to someone that was only going to pay $3,000 in premiums (for a net loss of $27,000) if you didn’t have to? Hmm…let me me think about that one. The answer is a resounding “NO!”. Because of this underwriting process for individual health insurance, insurance companies can control their risk and more effectively manage their profitability, resulting in more stable prices.

As you can see, there is no clear cut answer as to which type of insurance is the best. The answer depends on a number of factors and is different for every unique situation. The best advice I can give you as you consider your health insurance options — get good advice from an experienced health insurance advisor.

The Dos and Don'ts of Using Craigslist to Buy Home Furniture

Are you looking for good deals on home furniture? If so, you should visit the online classified website Craigslist.org. You will find lots of good deals, but what should or shouldn’t you do when shopping?

DO use a Craigslist search machine. These are desktop applications that you download and install on your computer. They make searching Craigslist easy. Not only can you search multiple categories at once, but multiple locations too. You can choose from statewide, nationwide, and multi-city searching. Since home furniture is pretty large, your best bet is to search nearby communities that you can drive too. Still, a Craigslist search machine allows you to perform one search for all locations you choose, unlike Craigslist.

DON’T rush to make a buying decision, but also don’t wait too longer either. Over the years, Craigslist has skyrocketed in popularity. Good deals on the website don’t last long. Since you want to get a good deal on an item, like a used couch, make your decision quickly. If you wait even just an extra day, someone else may come along and snatch up the good deal.

DO search for home furniture daily. As previously stated, Craigslist.org has increased in popularity over the years. For that reason, more people turn to it to sell their unwanted goods and to make extra money. They do so often. Each day, a new seller may upload a home furniture item, like a bed, dresser, or entire bedroom set. As mentioned above, good deals don’t last long. Not only do you want to act quickly when you find something that you like, but you also want to search the website often. Do this whether you search directly from Craigslist.org or if you use a Craigslist search machine.

DON’T forget to ask the seller questions. If you need a cheap coach or another piece of home furniture, you may get excited when you see a nice looking item posted on the website with a cheap price. First, it is important to make sure the item is really worth it. A used couch for $15 sounds nice, but not if that used couch as been sitting outside in the rain for the last week. It is also important to inquire about stains and other types of wear and tear. To get the best deal on home furniture, you must ensure that you are getting a quality item. Unfortunately, pictures and seller descriptions can be deceiving.

15 Travelers That I Have Met

There are really as many type of travelers as there are people. Here we take a tongue in cheek look at some of the common types.

1. The Complete Budget Traveler

The complete budget traveler travels on a strict budget and does not vary from it, no matter how exciting the recently discovered opportunity is. No extra drinks for this traveler unless someone buys him/her one.

2. The Perennial Party Animal

The perennial party animal has one focus and that is to have fun usually at a bar. These travelers find places to party where others cannot. Perhaps they should be partnered with the complete budget traveler!

3. The Flexible Go-anywhere Traveler

The flexible go-anywhere traveler just chills out where-ever he/she is. There is no need for planning – everything is good. They go with the flow and to not need to know where they are going. Perhaps the traveler that enjoys any experience.

4. The Methodical Planner

The methodical planner does not do anything that is not pre-arranged. Every second is planned and when things go wrong as they inevitably do, they feel unloved. They will always be found where ever the plan tells them to be.

5. The Modern Techie

The modern techie can only travel if he/she has the latest travel accessories and gadgets. Stay close to the modern techie to learn what items works and what items are a waste of money for your next trip.

6. The Avid Souvenir Buyer

The avid souvenir buyer has money to spend and anything that he/she wants to remind them of the holiday. The head for the markets and shops and not interested in spending any time with the perennial party animal. Usually has trouble with baggage weight limits on the homeward journey.

7. The Know it All Traveler

The know it all traveler studies everything from the guidebooks and internet prior to travel. He/she finds great joy in asking the most in-depth questions of the guides or continually interrupts the guide with statements of “fact”. Not sure who the know it all traveler should travel with.

8. The Fancy Photographer

The fancy photography will probably have the most expensive camera (and don’t forget the lens) and take the longest to take any photograph. Other travelers are always waiting for him/her at any special sight. They also like to get out very early to “catch the light.”

9. The Constant Complainer

The constant complainer finds everything on the tour not to his/her usual standard. Usually claim to be frequent travelers and often want to “talk with a higher authority”. Probably should stay home and enjoy the things that are there!

10. The Helpless Traveler

The helpless traveler finds everything a little too much. He/she will ask the most unusual and often useless questions. Often there will be someone on the tour who takes the helpless traveler under their wings to protect them from the others.

11. The “I am looking for myself” Traveler

The “I am looking for myself” traveler is searching for something. It is something unique for each or the “I am looking for myself” travelers. Beat to let them find themselves but make sure that they get about safely.

12. The Incessant Talking Traveler

The incessant talking traveler does not leave anyone alone. They crave a discussion on almost any topic. Often they are quite interesting people but enough is enough.

13. The Travel Light Traveler

The travel light traveler needs only one cabin bag to see the world. They a proud of their achievement but their traveling companions struggle when there is no time for washing clothes. They tend to like to borrow things.

14. The Repeating Traveler

The repeating traveler goes to the same place or holiday each year. He/she can provide at least 101 reasons why you should join them. They take pride in telling you that they have seen three management changes at the hotel and the last manager was better than the current one.

15. The Exercising Traveler

Finally, the exercising traveler rises every morning to a vigorous physical workout. Only stay at hotels with gymnasium and swimming pool. Usually fussy with food and claim to eat “healthy” until the free wine is put on the table.

Whatever type of traveler you are or come into contact with – enjoy the experience and learn from them. Even the most tedious travelers will have something interesting to say.

Creating A Bathroom Wall Design

Whether you are making a new bathroom or remodeling the existing one, a good wall design should be one of your top priorities. Deciding what materials to be used for your bathroom walls is not an easy task though. You have lots of materials to choose from and virtually endless possibilities of design and pattern combination. The question now is: where to start?

Start by knowing your options for wall design. Tile has long been a popular choice for bathroom wall. It can be made of marble, limestone, vinyl, ceramic porcelain, granite, terrazzo, terra cotta, slate, stone, and glass among others. Take note of the advantages and disadvantages of each and the different effects each type of tile creates to your bathroom.

For example, terra cotta tile achieves a wall that looks weathered and rustic. It is also said to last for lifetime.

Marble tiles, like any other stone tiles must be sealed and require frequent cleaning. But marbles create a unique look when installed on specific areas of the wall.

Glass tiles are best if used as decorative accent but are often expensive and difficult to install.

Vinyl tiles are affordable compared to stone, porcelain, or ceramic. It is easy to install and easy to replace. However, vinyl tiles create several seams that can breed mold, mildew and bacteria. Aesthetic wise, vinyl tiles are not your best option.

Granite is often used as kitchen countertops but it is also good for bathroom wall accent especially if you want highlight a particular wall. Granite is durable and can last for a very long time.

Terrazzo tiles give unique beauty, elegance and longevity. However, it is quite expensive to use as wall design.

Concrete is another option you can take. The material is cheap but installation is not for the do-it-yourself. Concrete can be painted with different colors of your choice to match the mood you want to attain to your design.

Choose one or two materials above as the main wall and blend one or two more. The key is blending the right textures, color tones, and shades. For example, you can use natural stones such as marble, granite and limestone together. Glass with marble and limestone can also work.

There is nothing worst than a bathroom with 4 empty walls. Create a wall design according to your preference.

The Apartment Search

When you are apartment hunting, prepare a rental search plan. Be sure to know in advance what you want in an apartment and what you can live without. Decide in advance what areas of the city you could consider living in and make a list of apartment buildings within that perimeter.

Be sure to consider how far and how convenient it will be for you to travel to your job or your school or your family and friends. Also, how far is the apartment from stores, banks, hospitals, Church (if you attend) etc. If you have a car, make sure that there is adequate and convenient parking space 24/7. If you don’t drive make sure that there is close by public transportation.

Narrow your apartment locating to the size of rental unit you need. Studio apartment or one bedroom apartment or 2 BR apartment or more. Are you considering a furnished apartment or do you possible need a short term rental. If you are renting an apartment with a cat, dog, or other pet, you need to find out which apartments allow renting with pets and which do not. And, if they do allow pets, is there an additional security deposit required and if so, how much it is. Do you need an apartment complex with an exercise room or tennis courts or a pool or a recreation room, etc. or do you simply need and desire a nice clean and quiet pad.

Be realistic about what you can afford. Most apartment renting guides suggest that your rent should not be more than 25% to 30% of your income. This can vary depending on the income bracket, but be sure to be “real world” when budgeting additional apartment expenses such as heating and air conditioning and other utilities. If you fall short of affording the apartment of your choice, you might consider sharing an apartment with a roommate or roommates. Keep in mind that living with roommates can help you afford an upscale apartment or even, in some cases, luxury apartments, but it also has extreme restrictions to your privacy.

If you are familiar with the area and its neighborhoods, that gives you a distinct advantage for your apartment search. If, however, you are relocating to a new city or are not particularly knowledgeable about the city, you may want to contact an Apartment Locator or an Apartment Finder.

Once you narrow your search for apartments down to apts which suit your needs and desires you must be well organized & well prepared for your visits to the apartment complexes. When inspecting the rental premises be on the alert for unsafe conditions, excessive noise from traffic or playgrounds or neighbors. Visit the apartment building at night as well as the daytime hours. This will give you a more comprehensive understanding of the total space you will be residing in.

When you find the apartment complex that meets your renting needs and desires, you must be ready to put your “best foot forward” when you meet the apartment’s rental agent. This person may be the apartment building manager or a renting agent for the apts. You should prepare for this apartment renting interview in a professional and intelligent manner. Be advised that you are going to be asked to provide proof that you are a reliable prospective tenant. You are most likely going to need references from previous landlords. You may also be required by the apartments to show that you are gainfully employed and can afford the rent. Many landlords may require a credit report. If you are a first time renter and/or you have limited credit history you may be asked for references from family, friends, employer, professionals, etc. Likewise if you are renting with bad credit you will certainly want to come to the interview with a strong selection of references.

You are not necessarily restricted from apartment renting with less than perfect credit, but you may be required to put up an additional security deposit and possibly have a credit worthy person co-sign the apartment lease with you. Don’t unprepared for by requests for any of these things. Be sure to fill out a 100% truthful apartment rental application and come to the interview with references, proof of employment, credit information and any other renting resources at the ready. If you do have a credit history or renting history that might be detrimental, going through an apartment locator or apartment finder may be the best solution. They will present your history to the landlord for you, (make sure they are 100% truthful about it) and they can also be quite helpful and save you a lot of time because they most likely will know which landlords and apartments are more lenient in these circumstances. They can also advise you as to exactly what kinds of references and documents you might need to prove that you can be a responsible tenant.

You Have Located Your “Dream Apartment”

Once you have located your “dream apartment”, or as close to your perfect apartment as possible, now it is necessary to pay extremely close attention to the particulars of the rental agreement. An Apartment Lease is a contract between you and the landlord. Once agreed upon and signed by the tenant and the landlord, the rental lease creates obligations and restrictions for both parties. The most obvious covenants of the apartment lease are the length of the rental, (Six month lease, one year lease, two year lease, etc.) The amount of the security deposit, when the rent is due, who is responsible for what utilities. Also in that apartment lease, however, are stipulations, (sometimes in small print) that can cover a great variety of landlord and tenant obligations and restrictions. They can include, but are not limited to, the following:

o Maintenance of the apartment

o Care of the premises

o Cleanliness

o Insurance

o Governmental regulations

o Eminent Domain

o Nuisance and noise clauses

o Stipulations as to the circumstances whereby the landlord can enter the premises

o Use of Common Areas

o Keys and locks

o Loss or damage

o Parking

o Pets

o Plumbing

o What the landlord may do if the rent is in arrears

o What the tenant can do to bring the rent current before any kind of action might be started

o Non performance or breach of the contract by the renter

o Renter’s penalties in the event of early termination

o Circumstances which might cause the tenant or the landlord to break the lease prior to the end of the term

o Heat and other utilities

o Removal of goods

o Surrender or Non-Surrender of the premises

o Waivers of various obligations

o Prohibited reprisals

o Garbage disposal

o Recyclables

o And the list goes on and on and on.

Prospective tenants should read an Apartment lease thoroughly. Prospective apartment renters should understand everything that is contained in that lease and make an informed decision to be 100% accepting of all the provisions for both the tenant and the landlord, that you are positive that you can live up to your end of the bargain and that you are comfortable with the provisions on the landlord’s end.

If you do not understand every single clause of that apartment lease then do not sign it until you do understand it. If necessary and if possible, request assistance in interpreting the lease from a trusted source such as a knowledgeable friend or family member or employer or professional, or anyone else who can understand it and explain it to you. If necessary get legal advice. It can cost additional funds if you do not qualify for free legal assistance, but that additional cost might save you a ton of money and save you a ton of heartache and aggravation down the road.

If you do not agree with any of the provisions of that apartment lease and/or you feel that you can’t live up to the tenant’s obligations, or if you are not in agreement with any of the landlord’s rights under the agreement, then do not sign the lease until/or unless it can be changed to your satisfaction. If the apartment rental agreement cannot be amended to meet your needs and desires and comfort level then do not sign the lease and do not rent that apartment. The Apartment Rental agreement that you sign as a prospective tenant will not change once you become the actual tenant of that apartment.

Offshore Online Banking Guide – Critical Information You Must Know

There are several legal and regulatory compliance implications with offshore banking that I’d like to cover in this article. However, please don’t construe information on this site as legal guidance. I am providing this information for free based on my own experiences. Please consult your professional attorney or CPA (accountant) before you get involved with offshore internet banking.

What is an Offshore Bank

To be over simplistic, an offshore bank is a financial institution outside the shores of your country. If you are in Australia, a bank in the United States is an offshore bank to you. If you are in the United States, a bank in Singapore is an offshore bank to you. Therefore, the idea of offshore banking is relative.

A business or an individual, in this case you, may select an offshore bank account in a jurisdiction that is typically favorable in terms of taxes (often referred to as a tax haven by media), as well as in terms of legalities. In addition to choosing a jurisdiction with no to little income tax, for many, privacy and “secrecy” of banking activities are two of the bigger key considerations.

It goes without saying that access to your funds is important, as well as protection from corruption and stability in terms of certainty.

List of Common Offshore Online Banking Services

This is a brief list of services offered by offshore banks. This list is by no means a full comprehensive list of an offshore bank’s offerings, but rather a list of some of the most common offshore online banking services that businesses and individuals are offered:

  • Remote Deposits of funds
  • Direct Deposits of funds
  • ACH / Wire Transfers / EFT – Electronic Fund Transfers
  • Consumer and Commercial Lending
  • All Basic Credit Activities
  • Access to Capital – Offshore Debit Cards
  • Forex – Currency Exchange
  • Wealth Management
  • Offshore Trading Account
  • Offshore Brokerage Account
  • Administrative Services
  • Trustee Services

Note: Offshore banks typically tend to focus on either consumer or commercial banking. Within consumer, banks differentiate between retail consumer (the average individual) or private banking (meant for high net worth individuals).

Because each concentration involves a different cost structure from the bank’s perspective, when selecting an offshore bank for yourself, be clear on what type of consumer you are and what offshore online banking services you need. Gaining this clarity will ensure you are not disappointed in your choice.

List of Common Offshore Banks

No doubt the two most common names in offshore online banking are Switzerland and Cayman Islands. Just pick up any business journal or pop in a business based Hollywood flick. There is likely a mention of a Swiss bank account somewhere.

This is because as of at least 2012, these two jurisdictions held the most number of total deposits amongst all offshore online banks. Some other jurisdictions that offer offshore online banking are the following:

  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Panama
  • Cook Islands
  • Dominica
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Antigua
  • Malaysia
  • Anguilla
  • New Zealand
  • Luxembourg
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Cook Islands
  • Channel Islands
  • Monaco
  • Mauritius
  • Hong Kong
  • Malta
  • Macau
  • Regulating Offshore Online Banking

With complexity comes increasing regulation. The regulation around offshore online banking activities has steadily increased over the years, but according to many of its supporters it is still not enough. This means much more is in the pipelines. Regulation has particularly increased significantly after the significant events of September 11, 2011.

Regulatory guidance is issued and monitored by global bodies such as the International Monetary Fund or the IMF, who require financial institutions worldwide to maintain a certain level of operating or performance standard, specifically in terms of capital adequacy and liquidity. These key performance indicators are to be reported by banks on a quarterly basis to its designated regulator (such as the Fed or the FDIC in the United States).

The list of regulations is endless and quite comprehensive to say the least. Some notables are the Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulation and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). These acts require banks and financial institutions to immediately report suspicious activity resembling money laundering to local government authorities despite stepping out of the BSA jurisdiction.

Another example is the information sharing requirements between a certain group of countries with regards to capital flow and taxation which was initiated by members of the European Union. On the other side of the pond, the taxing body of the United States, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires financial institutions to report to it names of businesses and individuals who benefited from interest income resulting from deposits in US based institutions.

The most notable in my opinion of recently enacted regulations is the US Patriot Act, which permits the US Government to seize all assets of a financial institution if it suspects that the institution holds assets that belong to a potential criminal. Several other countries have since followed suit.

I personally feel these regulations strengthen the global banking infrastructure. But then again I am just one person. There are others who feel in all sorts of ways about offshore online banking.

Interesting Fact: Did you know that just until the 1990s, individuals were allowed to create their very own offshore banks. This practice was stopped and now only large institutions are allowed to do so.

Connotations and Implications of Offshore Online Banking

It is not illegal to conduct offshore online banking, but such activities tend to carry with them a certain set of connotations and legal implications that you must be aware of and comply with. There can be severe fines, penalties and legal repercussions if you fail to comply with the legal and regulatory requirements.

Why you must be thinking? Because offshore banking historically has been used and abused by those who intended to evade taxes, as well as those that used funds for illegal causes. For example, organized crime networks heavily use offshore online banking to launder money.

But like I said, conducting offshore online banking isn’t an illegal activity. All persons conducting offshore online banking are required by most countries (depending on their residency) to disclose the activities and the outcomes, such as interest income for example.

Specifically in the United States for example, a US resident’s income is taxed on a global basis. This means that even interest earned overseas is subject to taxation by US authorities. Now although financial institutions are not required to disclose this information to countries of interest due the bank secrecy guidelines, individuals are required to disclose this information.

Similarly, one can legally avoid taxes in certain situations. For example, a resident of Country X living and working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may not have to pay taxes if Country X does not tax the individual’s global income.

Because there is no taxation on income earned in many Arab nations, interest income earned from deposits in a UAE bank account is not subject to tax. Further, the income is also not taxed in Country X. This is a common reason why so many affluent folks change residency and citizenship status, one that resonates most with their financial goals and objectives.

It’s a very interesting dynamic and there is a ton of opportunity for strategics as you can imagine.

Dollar Concentration in Offshore Online Banking

Although offshore online banking is not a subject delved into by the average individual, the numbers involved (concentration of wealth and financial activity) are quite significant. You may find a lot of these simply fascinating.

For example, specialized banking economists and analysts indicate that half of the global capital (money) flows through one of the many offshore banks out there. The so called Tax Havens (think Switzerland) have over a quarter of the global wealth (think high net worth individuals and big companies). These Havens also hold over 30% of profits generated by companies based in the United States.

And that’s not it. Over 6 trillion US dollars owned by high net worth individuals are also reported to be held in offshore bank accounts in one shape or another.

Illegal Monies in Offshore Bank Accounts

Opportunists have identified weaknesses in the offshore banking system and thus have taken advantage of the systems to launder monies generated through illegal means and used for illegal purposes. According to the IMF, this amount is as large as 1.5 trillion US dollars on an annual basis. To put things in perspective for you, this is roughly 5% of the world’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In addition to illegal monies, there are also monies that have evaded taxation as well as monies that were generated through fraud, graft and corruption. All in all, the amounts are super significant. And as I stated above, the two jurisdictions with the biggest concentration of these amounts are the Cayman Islands and Switzerland (as of 2012).

Offshore Internet Banking for Corporations of All Sizes

I have already stated this earlier, but offshore online banking is not only for large companies, but companies of all sizes as well as individuals. There are a certain set of requirements that any institution, an individual or a company have to meet in order to open and maintain an offshore bank account.

In fact, it is easier for individuals to open and maintain an offshore bank account before companies are required to complete additional forms in a specific manner when establishing an offshore internet bank account.

Corporations typically engage in offshore online banking when they contemplate one or any mix of the following purposes.

  • Cost containment (bank fees and charges)
  • Paying and receiving payments from vendors and customers in local jurisdictions
  • Asset protection strategies
  • International acquisitions and investments
  • Compensating local employees in an offshore jurisdiction
  • Political reasons – Stability and predictability
  • Establishing a local business presence
  • Again, this is not a comprehensive list of why companies engage in offshore online banking. There are several other reasons why a company may decide to establish an offshore bank account. The only true way to find out the best offshore bank for you, and whether your objectives will be met through offshore internet banking is by speaking to a professional who can walk you through the entire process.

Concluding Thoughts on Offshore Internet Banking

I gave you a ton of information to read and digest in this article. As you have read, offshore internet banking is used by several different constituencies for several different purposes with several different intentions.

There are some significant advantages that can be derived from opening an offshore bank account such as entering new global markets and some serious offshore tax planning. I obviously recommend opening an offshore bank account for the right reasons, with full compliance with laws and regulations. For those contemplating abusing the system, understand that bank secrecy is a weakening concept, and one that will continue to weaken over the years.

Countries are increasingly sharing information, some voluntarily and some while succumbing to pressure by more powerful nations such as the United States.

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