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Email Signature Do's and Don'ts
How to Properly Sign a Power of Attorney Document for Someone
State Laws and Extra Notary Certificates
How to Measure Investment Turnover Ratio
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How to Properly Sign a Power of Attorney Document for Someone

How to Properly Sign a 
Power of Attorney Document 
for Someone

When someone gives you power of attorney, she is entrusting you to act on her behalf. Some powers of attorney don’t go into effect until the principal, the person granting you the power, can no longer act for herself. 
Others may go into effect as soon as both of you sign the power of attorney document. When you sign documents for someone else in this capacity, it’s important to make it clear that you’re acting for her, not contracting for any debt or transaction personally.

Step 1
Have your power of attorney document with you when you sign anything on the principal’s behalf. The entity or person with whom you’re contracting will probably want proof that the principal has authorized you to act for her. Ideally, the principal has already provided copies to all institutions with whom she expects you to deal, but don't count on this.

Step 2
Sign the principal’s name first, not your own. This eliminates any confusion that you’re acting in your own interests or assuming any personal liability for what you’re signing. The principal is actually the one engaging in the transaction.Ready to appoint a power of attorney?

Step 3
Sign your own name after the principal’s name, after including the word “by.” This indicates that the principal is engaging in the transaction through you. For example, you would write, “Sally Smith, by Samuel Smith.”Step 4End the signature by indicating that you’re acting under power of attorney. You can do this in one of several ways. After your name, you can write in the words “agent,” “attorney in fact,” “power of attorney” or simply, “POA.” Your final signature should read similar to "Sally Smith, by Samuel Smith, power of attorney."

State Laws and Extra Notary Certificates

Notary Signing Agents often are asked by title companies and signing services to include extra signed and stamped notarial certificates in the completed loan packages they return after an appointment.  The reason given is that the company wants extra certificates to rectify any mistake the NSA made in completing a notarial certificate on the mortgage, deed of trust or other notarized document in the loan package without having to send the entire document back for the NSA to correct. That would take precious time that could delay the closing of the transaction.But this is a problem for NSAs. While you instinctively want to follow the instructions your clients give you, this one requires you to violate Notary law.State Laws And Extra Notary Certificates

Many states address the issue of sending pre-signed, pre-stamped certificates, but they do it in different ways.

  • Some states, such as Florida, outright prohibit the practice.
  • Other states, such as California and Mississippi, require Notaries to complete the certificate at the time they sign and affix their seal. Notaries in these states who fail to do this can have their commissions suspended or revoked, and California Notaries could be fined.
  • Still other states’ laws say that a certificate must be completed “contemporaneously” with the performance of the notarial act, not before or after.
  • Maryland takes a different approach. Notaries there may only complete certificates that are already part of the document; they may not complete and use loose or separate certificates at all. So they cannot send additional, unattached certificates.

NSAs in states that do not have one of these explicit laws should follow the established professional standard of practice against providing these extra certificates to clients. In fact, much of the mortgage industry already recognizes that requests for extra certificates are inappropriate. 

The Notary Signing Agent Code of Conduct, drafted by the Signing Professionals Workgroup, specifically prohibits NSAs from complying with such requests.  Saying No To Your Client

As much as you might not want to, you will have to say “no” to any client who asks you to send extra certificates. Simply explain that it is against the law.  Every certificate you complete must be attached to, related to or connected to a specific document. You also can remind the client that if an unattached certificate were to be used for fraud, they could be named in a lawsuit.

How to Measure Investment Turnover Ratio

An investment turnover ratio measures how actively a fund is managed. A high turnover ratio means the manager is buying and selling stocks on a regular basis, while a low turnover means the fund holds its investments for a longer period of time. Though a high investment turnover ratio might make you feel like your manager is more involved, it's not always the best investment strategy because of the cost of each trade. According to Morningstar, managers with higher turnover rates usually have more aggressive investing strategies.

Divide the total sales by the investment fund's assets during a particular period. For example, if the mutual fund has $1 million in stock sales during the quarter and $5 million in assets, divide $1 million by $5 million to get 0.2.
Multiply the result by the number of periods per year. In this example, since there are four quarters per year, multiply 0.2 by 4 to get 0.8.
Substitute the result for "x" in the following ratio: "x to 1." In this example, substitute 8 for "x" to get an investment turnover ratio of 0.8 to 1. This means that over one year, each dollar of assets will get sold 0.8 times.

Mobile Notary Public

Mobile Notary
Phonetics: mo-bile no-ta-ry
Function: noun
Definition 1
A mobile notary is a notary who is accustomed and willing to travel to the signer's location. Mobile notaries often visit offices, houses, hospitals, courts, and jails. Mobile notaries usually charge a travel fee which is not governed by state law in most states.

California Notary Public Signing Agent

Notary Signing Agent
Phonetics: no-ta-ry sign-ing a-gent
Function: noun

Before the 1990's, Notary Signing Agents were virtually unknown. Borrowers were expected to travel to the office of a lender, escrow agent or title firm to complete a loan. However, during the past decade, increasing competition in the lending market, a massive volume of refinancing and home-equity loans and demand for faster, more customer-friendly services changed how loan transactions are conducted. Lenders now strive to make transactions as simple as possible and reduce a borrower's travel time during the work week. Therefore, the Mobile Notary came into existence. Another motivating factor for the lenders is that the Notary can eliminate the necessity for the borrower to take up the lender's time during the signing, hence freeing up the lender's schedule for focusing more on creating more loans. A Notary Signing Agent can point out which page certain pieces of information are on. However, the Notary Signing Agent or "Signer" can not explain the terms of the loan or explain documents since that could be considered giving legal advice which is not legal unless you are an attorney of law. A Notary Signing Agent is not a real agent as they are almost always an independent contractor who is self-employed. It is prudent to inform the borrowers that you work for yourself and have no involvement with the lender outside of assisting signing the documents.

Starter Real Estate Investments

In realestate, there are two kinds of buyers.The first group is made up of investors, or people who buy properties with the intention of either leasing them out to generate income and a return, as well as those who buy, fix, and flip to other buyers. The other group is made up of people who are simply looking for a place to live or do business. They buy a property and use it, and this group makes up the vast majority of the market. For instance, in the home market, the one place where the average American will likely invest in property, nearly half of all real estate buyers are buying their first home during any given year, according to Zillow.Part of this is due to the fact that real estate investing, particularly on the commercial side, has traditionally been reserved for high-net-worth individuals, institutional investors and others with the wherewithal — connections, financing means and know-how — to get involved. It was an asset class that everyday retail investors simply did not have access to and weren’t able to leverage, except indirectly through publicly traded real estate investment trusts.But that has started to change. Thanks to technology and new regulation around crowdfunding, investors can now invest directly in commercial real estate deals, cutting out the middleman, and even with a small investment diversify their portfolio across a number of different assets. What used to require a portfolio worth tens of millions of dollars can now be accomplished with a few thousand at a time.

Crowdfunding platforms such as Fundrise, RealCrowd, Crowdstreet and others are proliferating, allowing accredited individual investors to get into large, high-return commercial real estate transactions with investments as small as $500.That looks to me, as an industry insider, like a real seachange.If you look at most wealth that's been built over the centuries, both in America and globally, real estate is usually a big component of that. Some think of it as a fourth asset class after bonds, stocks and cash. Commercial real estate constitutes 13 percent of GDP, and in recent years was elevated by S&P 

Dow Jones indices from being a subsector of “financials” to its own place as one of 11 industries in its global classifications.Given the position of commercial real estate in the economy, it has always felt strange to me that the average investor cannot access these investments. Even amid changing technologies, new industries and new innovations, there is nothing like owning a physical asset and having a piece of an apartment building or industrial building that can generate income for you.I’ve tested out the concept of these crowdfunded platforms to raise an investment, and it does seem to work. (I have no personal or firm investment in the platforms themselves). Our firm put a deal out on one of the larger commercial real estate crowdfunding platforms to fund an asset we are buying in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the course of about two weeks, nearly $1.5 million came in from smaller investors on that platform. It allowed them entry to a deal they would never before been able to access via small investments. It worked for us because it allowed us to access investors and capital that we never would have been able to reach before.In 20 years in commercial real estate, for me it has always been about building personal, individual relationships with each of our investors. Now we can put a deal out on a crowdfunding platform and create a whole host of new relationships, with diverse investors, on a national basis almost overnight.It’s a democratization of commercial real estate, but it does carry with it some substantial risks. These services are being marketed to individual investors directly and through partnerships with personal finance portals. You may find these platforms being pitched to you in email or in your social media feed. 

But real estate investment isn’t like investing in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. These are illiquid assets that can be difficult to value, so crowdfunding investors who are new to the commercial real estate space would do well to follow some best practices that those of us in the industry have been following for decades.

1. Do your research: Always do your homework and look at each of the deals available to you in-depth. Is it the right fit for your personal investment philosophy? How does it fit within your overall investment portfolio? Real estate investing is like any other investment that has risk associated with it, so diversification is key. Don’t bet it all on one horse, and focus on deals that make good common sense.

2. Understand what you’re buying: A real estate investment isn’t a share of stock. It is a physical asset that can’t be solely summarized in numbers on a chart. Is that apartment or office building located in a desirable area? Is it in a growing city? Are local renters increasingly moving to another part of town, driving down rents where you are looking to invest? People will always need to sleep in a bed and have a physical location where they live, but what makes one particular apartment building more desirable than another? Don’t overlook those details when investing. And remember, this kind of investing does not have the liquidity of a stock. You may need to stay in for a while.

3. Think big: For us as real estate investors, everything comes down to job growth and a positive outlook for the future. For that reason, it pays to look beyond one single asset when considering investments. Think about industrial space as an example. Regardless of where technology is going, we will always need physical places to put goods that can be shipped out and delivered to people on a local level. Even if the products are coming in globally, they have to be brought into the country, broken down into their component parts and shipped around to customers. So industrial real estate has good strong fundamentals just because of that. It’s the same with demographics. For instance, Baby Boomers are now starting to move into senior care facilities in greater numbers as they age, meaning there is a greater need for more senior care space.You don’t have to go too far out on the risk curve to do well in commercial real estate. Yes, there is always a chance that the market could go down, and can even go way down and stay there for years. But at the end of the day, real estate investors still always have a physical asset that they own.If you are willing to take the time to learn the game, it could be one more tool in your investor toolbox.
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