Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Rich or Right, It's Your Decision (Part 2)

Welcome back fellow traders. I know that you have just been dying to get to part 2, the final part of this series. Well, I don't want you, my readers, agonizing any longer; we will give you, as it were, "the rest of the story."
We ended last time talking about how so many people would rather be right 90% of the time and lose money, than be right 10% and actually make money. I know that seems like an odd statement, but throughout my years, I have found that it is very true with a good majority of the people. That's right, being right is THAT important. If you aren't sure of what we are talking about, please check part 1.
Now I know you are probably scratching your head saying, "Why in the world is being right so important?" Well reader, you ask very great questions, I'd be happy to answer it for you. Actually, there are two main reasons that we are so driven to be right and ONLY focus on that aspect. The first reason is that while we are matriculating through the school system, we are constantly being conditioned to be right. The second reason, and probably the most overlooked, is that many of the industry giants give the little people (just like us) what we want - ways to be right - which tends to perpetuate that "right" myth. I'd like to explore these reasons a little closer with you.
First, from the time we enter into school until graduation, the school system's entire stressing point is the importance of being right. You are taught there are ONLY 2 answers, the right one and the wrong one - you are further driven to always choose the right answer. If you finally graduated or "survived" that atmosphere, it means that you were perfectly indoctrinated that you ALWAYS need to be right.
The tests that were administered were used to measure your performance; your instructors wanted to see how frequently you'd choose the right answer. If 70% or so wasn't achieved, you were labeled as a failure. Then, as if being called a failure in public isn't enough, a "report card" is sent home and the failing grade is accompanied by a comment that "Tom is just a little slow" or "Maybe Tom is a smart student, he just doesn't apply himself." By this time, if your ego and self-esteem hasn't been crushed, it is dragging the floor. You are a failure!
There's no wonder why, when those kids grow up and become Forex Traders, why they ALWAYS want to be right. Though always being right can usually cost Traders dearly (in profits), the fact that they are right, is what continually drives them. So we can say with surety that whether you have been educated for 20 years and have a double doctorate or you've only had an elementary education, you have been conditioned to always being right!
The other reason that Traders want to be right is that the different service providers that are available for Forex Traders and investors feed that bias to always be right. First, all the software vendors provide software that can be altered and optimized - to suit your trading patterns. They are designed to help you be "right." The problem is that on paper, they work really well; however, in real life - not so good.
But never fret because professor AC is here. I know you are probably feeling overwhelmed and asking if there is any solution to the problem. Obviously! Otherwise I wouldn't have spent so much time explaining the problem. "So what's the solution," you ask? Get into a good Forex training class and learn HOW to trade, not just how to be right. There is a difference in trading and always being right and trading and always making money. If you would prefer the latter, find some entity that offers Forex training - FREE! There is no need to pay someone thousands of dollars for them to teach you to lose money. You want to learn from someone who has proven they can earn - PERIOD! Find a Forex class, enroll and begin your trading career all over again.
For more information on how to join our FREE Learning Center and begin taking classes for FREE, be sure to visit NBCX online at
As always, happy trading...
Mr. Brewer
NBC Exchange
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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Steps to Trade Forex Profitably

One of the biggest issues faced by a budding Forex trader is developing a trading system that fits you and the standards you have set for yourself like a glove. No, I hate to burst your bubble, but there are no one-size-fits-all or Holy Grail trading strategies. If there is one, then all Forex traders would've been rich by now! Anyway, if you are yet to get started with the development of your profitable Forex trading system, here are steps that will get you going in the right direction:
Step 1: In chess, there's a tried and tested acronym - KISS. This stands for the old adage: "Keep It Simple Stupid!" The same thing goes for Forex Trading. Why complicate things when a couple of good and reliable rules would suffice for your system? Yes, you need to make sure you have sound guidelines to follow, but that doesn't mean you need to stuff it with rules. Knowing how much you would risk on every trade, where to place those much-needed stops and limits, and when to place them would be a good start.
Step 2: Always keep an eye for long-term trends. Better yet, grab a chart and use it to time your entry. I repeat, you need to look at long-term trends. These events make a lasting impact on the market. It could be as long as a month, two, or more... not just a few days or a couple of weeks.
Step 3: Trade using the Breakout method, and you should build your system in such a way that it helps you recognize or predict when a currency pair is about to break out. For the uninitiated, a breakout is when a currency pair, which has been trading for a few days, and suddenly makes a big move. It can be upwards or downwards.
Step 4: Know your market! This is a very important step. As a Forex trader, your primary 'tools of trade' include the market and your knowledge of it. Your knowledge (or lack thereof) of the market you are in spells the difference between making stable gains and losing in wipe-outs. Oh! And I should add, you must have an open mind when you do your homework.
Step 5: Decide what your time frame is. You need to know how much time you can spend on Forex trading. To complete this step, you should determine what kind of trader you want to be. Are you planning to be a long-term trader who makes only 3 to 4 trades in a while? Do you want to be a day trader? Perhaps you are planning to be a swing trader? Answer these questions and you will know the time frame that would suit you.
Step 5: The only thing that doesn't change is change itself. Markets and trends change, and so should you. Market research should be an on-going affair. Along with that, your Forex trading system should be changed accordingly if you want to be profitable.
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Monday, 29 August 2011

Is It Wise To Build Custom Automated Forex Trading Software?

It seems like people are jumping on board with a very radical solution to their trading woes by building their own automated Forex trading software programs! If you're considering whether it's a wise move to try to build your own automated currency trading system, there are a few things that you should consider before you take the plunge. Here are a few of the main considerations you should take on board before committing yourself to any serious development project.
What's Involved In Building Your Own Automated Forex Trading Software Program
I've personally developed dozens of profitable and not so profitable automated Forex trading software programs, so I daresay I know a thing or two about the entire process. If you think it's just a matter of throwing a few indicators together and saying "buy when X" and "sell when Y", then you're very much mistaken. In fact, you've probably heard from a couple of "gurus" that you should keep combining different indicators and backtesting each unique blend until you find a winning formula.
Well, the problem with that approach is, that ultimately you're going to find a winning combination that would have worked magically in the past, but will it work again in the future? You can never know for sure, after all people do win the lottery every week, and who's to say that your automated Forex trading software program hasn't stumbled on an extremely lucky combination that would have made you millions trading "past data"? That's the flaw with testing random combinations, and I can tell you from experience that these systems don't last more than a week in real trading.
So Is It A Good Idea To Build Your Own Automated Forex Trading Software Program?
You might be surprised, because I do actually think that it's a good idea for people to build their own program... but only if they have a lot of experience trading and are wiling to dedicate their time learning how to develop that prior knowledge into a working trading system. That's because an automated program will allow you to free yourself from actually having to do the trading, and eliminate your emotion from the process as well. That said, if you're new to the markets and don't have much experience trading then it's a really bad idea. That's because you don't really have any experience or solid knowledge in either skill sets for developing a profitable automated Forex trading software program, and therefore you should give this route a miss.
Be sure that you know the facts about automated Forex trading before you do anything else! Everything you need to know about making a profit with automated Forex trading software can be found on my website.
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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Forex Trading - Understanding All The Major Pairs

If you are just starting out in Forex Trading, then getting to know the 4 major currency pairs is a must. Known as "The Majors" for short, these 4 currency pairs are the most commonly traded pairs in the market and they are also the most liquid. For the uninitiated, the liquidity is being able to convert an asset into cold-hard cash in a quick manner, but without having a large effect on the asset's price. When talking about Forex Trading, liquidity pertains to being able to buy and sell currency pairs with no effect on its price. The more liquid a pair is, the less 'movements' it will make when you buy or sell large orders. Now that we are done with that, let's have a closer look at The Majors:
The Majors 1: EUR / USD
When talking about the most traded currency pairs, EUR / USD tops the list. Not only is it the most commonly traded, it is highly liquid too... making it very suitable for Forex traders who are just learning the ropes or the ins and outs of the market. The average daily range for this pair is 100 pips. While EUR / USD trades actively 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, you want to do your trades on the most action-concentrated hours. This is when US and European banking hours overlap each other. That's around 7AM EST to 10AM EST. If you want to see how the US economy is doing compared to the rest of the globe, checking out this pair is the way to go.
The Majors 2: GBP / USD
Following the Euro vs. Dollar is the British Pound (GBP) vs US Dollar (USD) currency pair. A widely traded pair, it's more volatile than average, and with that in mind, newbies in the Forex Trading industry should steer clear from it until they have gathered some experience. Movements have a daily average of 150 pips up to 200 pips. This volatile currency pair is most active from London open until it reaches lunch time in the UK, which is around 4:30AM EST. Also, it's active during the early hours of the US trading session. That's between 7AM EST up until 10AM EST.
The Majors 3: USD / CHF
On the third spot, we have the US Dollar (USD) vs. Swiss Franc (CHF) currency pair. If you are someone who wants to visually estimate the strength of USD currency, this is a good pair to use or trade on. It often travels at 100 pips daily. This pair is most active during the opening hours of European trading session (that's 3AM to 4:30AM EST) through the early hours of US Trading Session (7-10 AM EST).
The Majors 4: USD / JPY
Last but not the least, we have US Dollar (USD) vs. Japanese Yen (JPY) trading pair. What's interesting about this trading pair is that it has its own 'behavior' if you will. There are times that it will move opposite the direction of other dollar pairs (this is especially true during risk aversion in the markets). It can also become highly unpredictable compared to other pairs. It has a daily range of 100 pips, and it is most active during the opening hours of the Asian session (6PM to 9PM EST) and early hours of US trading sessions.
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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Forex Training Lesson 2 - Trade a Breakout Like a Pro (B)

In your Forex training programme you should be taught to know when trading breakouts, we are looking for an increase in volume to avoid false breakouts. This means that when the price is breaking above the £10 level (resistance) or below the £5 level (support), the more people pushing prices higher or below that consolidation area the better as this gives Forex traders more conviction to stay with their trades. Also bear in mind that breakouts can and do lead to an increase in volatility and possibly the beginning of trends or reversal of the previous trend.
The reason why breakouts are so popular and profitable is down to the rationale and psychology about the mood in the market, and also the fact that it can be used on any time frame from weekly to a 1 minute time frame.
As was alluded to earlier, it's crucial to identify support and resistance levels. Also, these levels become even more significant the more times price has tested them So, in our case if buyers have attempted to push price above £10 five times in the past, successful Forex traders will consider that a stronger breakout that if buyers tested the £10 level only twice. You should also learn in your Forex training that the best breakouts are those which occur on longer time frames such as daily or 4 hourly timeframes rather than the 1 minute or 5 minute breakouts, as the chances of getting whipsawed, or false breakouts are much higher.
The rules for establishing an entry order for either a long or short position are the same. Whenever prices break above resistance or below support by however many pips, points or cents you choose to assign, you enter the trade. It is also important to be aware of false breakouts, which is where price breaks out of the consolidation zone but then reverses and comes back into the zone without carrying on further in the direction of the initial breakout. Successful Forex traders will look for added confirmation to avoid false breakouts; confirmation could be an increase in volume or waiting for price to close well above the breakout zone.
In terms of where to exit the trade, there several ways to plan your exit target. Firstly, you may decide to use the range of the consolidation zone to set your target. So in our case price ranged between £5 and £10, hence when going long, initial profit target will be at £15. Another idea may be to look to the left of your chart for near resistance/support areas or swing highs or swing lows. How you approach this will depend on the education you have received on your Forex trading course.
Every consistently profitable trader will tell you that losing is part of trading and as successful Forex traders we know when we are wrong we must exit our trade; hence the use of a stop-loss order. Using the breakout strategy, a stop-loss can be set above or below recent swing highs/lows or just above support (when going short) or below resistance (when going long), the idea based on the notion that old support becomes new resistance and old resistance becomes new support. Given that price tends to re-test the area it has broken out of, rather than placing the stop-loss order right on the resistance or support line, it is important to give your trade room to breathe and allow the trade 'work out' and avoid getting stopped out early.
Please click on the link to see an example of how to trade a breakout in this manner.
Visit the London Stone Trading FX Success website for more information on Forex Training or our Forex Trading Course.
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Friday, 26 August 2011

Romney Was Right: Corporations Really Are People

If Mitt Romney becomes the Republican candidate for president, you are going to see a lot of attack ads that show him declaring: "Corporations are people, my friend." (1)
Romney made this observation last Thursday, standing before a largely hostile crowd at the Iowa State Fair. The comment quickly made its way to Twitter and YouTube. Journalists, looking for some early election drama, eagerly labeled it a gaffe. An NPR blog even referred to the comment as "an early Christmas gift" for Democrats. (2)
Most news reports, however, left out or sidelined the context of Romney's remark. On its own, the statement seems to be a reference to the legal concept of "corporate personhood," the idea that corporations have certain basic rights such as the freedom to enter into contracts.
A basic assertion of corporate personhood is not particularly interesting. Questions about the principle's reach remain, but the fundamental concept is well accepted.
Romney, however, was not talking about corporate personhood. He was responding to audience members who suggested that an increase in taxes on "people" could be avoided by instead taxing "corporations."
"We have to make sure that the promises we make in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are promises we can keep, and there are various ways of doing that," Romney said. "One is we can raise taxes on people."
"Corporations!" a member of the audience interrupted, echoed by several others.
That was when Romney made his now famous remark: "Corporations are people, my friend."
"No, they're not!" the audience members responded.
"Of course they are," said Romney. "Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people."
The point Romney was trying to make is an important one: Corporations are not alien entities from which money can be magically retrieved. They are human creations, and taking money from corporations has consequences that affect those human beings. Taxes on corporations are taxes on people.
Of course corporations are not exactly people. If they were, we would not need to create them. We would simply do all our business in our own names, getting supplies from places like Joe's General Store or Mary's Lumber Yard. But human beings have limitations, the most important of which is that we eventually die. Corporations, on the other hand, can outlast any single human life. IBM recently marked its 100th anniversary, a feat that would not have been possible if its destiny had been inextricably tied to that of its founder, Thomas J. Watson Sr., who died in 1956.
When I started my business 19 years ago, I did it in my own name, as most founders of start-ups do. But as the company accumulated clients, took on employees and opened new offices, it needed an existence separate from my own. Clients needed to know that the services they relied upon would not suddenly end if something happened to me. Employees needed to know that the company had a long-term future they could help build. So I created Palisades Hudson Financial Group LLC. While a limited liability company does differ in some ways from a corporation, it still creates a distinct entity. Along with setting up the LLC, I established an estate and succession plan to ensure that the new entity could go on without me.
The addition of those three letters at the end of the business name, however, does not change the fact that what happens to Palisades Hudson still ultimately happens to me. If taxes on the business increase, I will have to make changes, as I have already done in response to the burdens introduced by the health care reform act. If, in some distant future, I were to take Palisades Hudson public, its ownership would become more dispersed, but the owners would still be people. They would still feel the impact of increases in taxes or of any other conditions affecting the business.
This is the principle that Romney asserted. On its surface, the audience members' claim that corporations are not people in this sense seems absurd. It is, however, understandable when viewed as a holdover from a time when union members made up a large percentage of the private sector work force. In those days, people tended to think in terms of two distinct groups - unions and businesses - whose interests were mutually exclusive. Each side defined the other in terms of contrast. By that logic, if unions were made up of people, businesses had to be something else - some sort of inhuman force. In reality, both unions and businesses were then, as now, human-created entities, used to organize the collective efforts of groups of people.
Most people have come to recognize that workers and business owners are essentially in business together. Taxes and other burdens on business do not just affect the entity, nor even just the entity and its owners; directly or indirectly, those taxes affect employees too. Union membership has plunged as this idea has taken hold.
The idea of corporations as somehow independent of human interests, however, continues to be an important part of the Democratic Party's rhetoric. This allows Democrats to use "corporations" as both scapegoats and money trees, while ignoring the consequences for the individuals behind those corporations. In his simple statement, Romney challenged the lie inherent in that rhetoric.
Romney may take flak from Democrats over his comment, but he is only saying what nearly everyone already knows. And while Exxon or Apple won't be going to the polls, those companies' shareholders, managers and employees will be. I suspect that they, too, will remember Romney's remark. They won't be so quick to call his defense of their interests a gaffe.
1) The New York Times, "'Corporations Are People,' Romney Tells Iowa Hecklers Angry Over His Tax Policy"
2) NPR, "Romney's 'Corporations Are People' A Gift To Political Foes"
For more articles, please visit the Palisades Hudson Financial Group LLC newsletter or subscribe to the blog.
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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Why the Right Website Hosting and Website Building Is Important

When it comes to church website hosting there are several options to choose from. Website hosting is a type of hosting service that provides space on a server. Some companies offer complete web design and hosting packages that save time and money.
By using a system that is capable of providing more than just a basic one page website service, professionalism is achieved. This may seem extreme for a small church but consider the possibilities. Reaching out to millions of people with an important message is suddenly within your grasp without hiring a marketing team or spending thousands of dollars in advertising.
Benefits of Shared Church Website Hosting
Church website hosting can be shared with other companies and ran off of one large server, bringing down the cost significantly. There are even firms that are able to offer free hosting due to the huge number of users involved. When domains share the same server with numerous sites, websites can enjoy a 99.9% uptime on the Internet. Downtime for servicing can be inconvenient. Visitors may even begin to wonder if there isn't a major problem with your website.
Website Building can be Extensive
Small hosting can leave you limited as to the amount of room that you are allowed. You may think that only four or five pages is enough to show the news, activities and special events of your church but many church sites begin small. It is much easier to have the capacity to expand than to change hosting and begin building all over again. With the number of features, templates and technology just developed in the past couple of years, who could know what will be available in the future. Be prepared for expanded website building and start with the storage space you may need.
Website Building that Flows
A theme is the best place to start and leave the rest to a competent website designer that is seasoned in the field of charity websites, church website hosting and not-for-profit organizations. Each subject has their own needs and beginning with someone who knows the ropes will save you from looking at themes, colors and pictures that are not appropriate for your website. Chances are, the same type of churches will share your church website hosting server, making you feel more comfortable.
Not only can you count on your website to be up and running no matter what the time of day but consider the audience overseas that are on a different time than you are. Just because a church has a physical location doesn't mean that it cannot be used to spread the Word to every corner of the earth. Perhaps you sponsor a cause each year that would be of interest to others. Form a page with weekly sermons or uplifting stories and phrases for shut-ins. The possibilities are endless in website building and because you never want to run out of space, select a company experienced in church hosting to make sure you have adequate room.
For more information visit Church Website Hosting.
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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Unveiled: Myth of Non-Profit

Modernly, an entrepreneur has a myriad of options when it comes to the legal formation of the business. The sub-categories for business entities range from corporation to limited liability companies and many others. Even with all the different sub-categories, an overarching consideration involves a decision concerning whether the business should be for profit or not. Instinctively, most people would choose the former over than the latter because they would assume that a non-for profit would not generate income. However intuitive, that assumption would be faulty.
The designation non-profit is not synonymous with the business' potential to produce income. Instead, it is a government induced name for a business to obtain some tax benefits when it is operated for charitable interests. When a business is for profit you have a direct exchange of money for services between the customer and the business. On the other, with a non-profit the business does not receive income directly from the customer; a third party pays on behalf of the customer. That third party may be a foundation or government entities who donate to the business. In either scenario, the business will generate income.
The decision concerning which type of entity would be most advantageous depends on the type of business involved. Some business ideas will automatically push you in one direction or another. For example, an idea to create a women shelter will automatically push you toward the non-profit category and a retail store will generally push you closer to being a for profit business. There are some ideas which do not specifically fall into either category. In that case, someone may use some creative brainstorming to categorize themselves as a non-profit to benefit from the advantages that the designation affords.
Some of the advantages of the non-profit status include public funding options, tax exemption benefits and smoother operational functioning. In business operation, the designation of non-profit eliminates the interaction with the consumer for the payment of services. It allows the business to focus on the service, not the bottom line. This shift allows the consumer to view the business differently because they don't necessarily have to reach into their pocket every time they receive service. That dynamic allows for a relationship of trust and mutual collaboration between the business and the customer.
A person who is considering filing for non-profit exemption should also consider some of the drawbacks. To begin with, the process to obtain the exemption is costly and lengthy. From the organizational standpoint, a higher level scrutiny is placed on the organization for business records. The owner also has to share control of the business with board of directors who shape and craft the bylaws and rules of the organization. Lastly, the owner cannot pocket the business' earnings unless it is a salary which must be reasonable because the business' financial records are matter of public records.
Catherine works as a business consultant empowering entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and resources to bring their entrepreneurial aspiration to success. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree of law specializing in Business and has extensive experience with all aspects of business formation. Connect with Catherine at, or connect with her on Twitter at
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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Tender Writing - Hire A Professional To Do Your Work

A good tender writer is a key to winning tenders for your company. Using skilled and quality tender management and tender writing professionals is the best way to win bids when your company is competing against many others, who may have more experience than you. You are competing for a tender against many other companies, and almost every company is looking for an edge, so having a tender writer who knows how to write an excellent bid that will stand out from the competition is a great asset to have.
The process starts when an appropriate Invitation To Tender (ITT) is identified. The ITT is an official document published by a company that lets other companies know that bids for a project, piece of work, or service are needed. The tenders must always be submitted by a fixed deadline, so the process and tender management is very time intensive, therefore having a quality tender writer on your staff is imperative to applying for funding and winning tenders. A well-written tender can bring a great amount of revenue and business to your company.
Tender writing is not something that just anyone with good writing skills can do well. The requirements for many tender and bid submissions are very specific. It takes a great amount of time for an individual to learn and acquire the skills necessary to meet all of the requirements for submitting a tender, and to do it well. There are many courses available to give an employee the necessary training to write winning tenders. These courses also often offer other information relevant to successful tender writing, like researching the company and making sure the tender is original. Making sure word requirements, font requirements, deadlines, and spelling and grammar requirements are met when applicable is also imperative to successful. You are competing with so many other bids and tenders; it is imperative that what your company submits must be impeccable in order to win the bid.
If you do not feel that having a tender writer on staff is the best option for your company, there are also many different tender and bid writing services available that you can utilize who will write tenders for you. Similar to a resume writing service, tender writing and bid services know the market inside and out, and typically have years of experience in the field. This can be a very attractive quality about tender writing services that many companies are willing to pay for. Just be sure to research any bid service or tender writing service to make sure they are a good fit for your needs.
Want tips on writing tenders? Executive Compass provides a range of business. They provide professional resource for business owners and managers looking for help with a variety of organisational and business improvement issues across the United Kingdom. For further details visit:
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Monday, 22 August 2011

Teenagers Face A Jobless Summer

With school out for the summer, teens are finding all sorts of ways to forget what they learned during the year, according to year-round schooling advocates. But less than a quarter of older teens are putting their time off to its traditional use by temporarily trading report cards for paychecks.
As recently as the summer of 2001, 42 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds worked. Except for a slight dip in the late 1950s and early 1960s, summer youth employment was between 40 and 50 percent every year from the time record-keeping began in 1938 until the early years of this century. Over the past decade, however, each summer has seen fewer employed teens than the one before. This summer's 24 percent employment rate sets a new low.
At first glance, the decline in teen employment seems to be more due to cultural changes than to economic ones. After all the media attention to helicopter parents, it would be unsurprising if fewer young people were expected to shoulder their own expenses. However, at the same time the teen employment rate has fallen, the teen unemployment rate has risen, recently hitting 24.5 percent. Adding the percent of older teens who are employed to those who are looking for work, the result - 48.5 percent - is not that different from past years' employment figures. The change is not that fewer teens want to work; it's that fewer of those who want jobs have them.
So what is to blame for teens' difficulty finding work? My guess is the minimum wage. During the time period over which teen employment has fallen, the federal minimum wage has gone from $5.15 to $7.25, and many states' minimums have risen even higher.
All these minimum wage increases were introduced with the same goal: helping low-earning workers, including young people. In reality, however, they have made hiring unskilled workers unaffordable for many businesses. The wages for these jobs were low, in most cases, because that was what supply and demand supported. By trying to artificially create higher-paying jobs, lawmakers have instead legislated low-paying jobs out of existence. Stores have replaced cashiers with self-service cash registers and call centers have replaced live operators with recordings.
The loss of these jobs has been particularly difficult for young people, who are least likely to have job skills and experience. Of people making the minimum wage or less in 2006, the year before the most recent increase began to be phased in, one-fourth were between the ages of 16 and 19.
Casey Mulligan, an economics professor at the University of Chicago, examined the effects of the minimum wage increase on summer work through statistical analysis in a 2010 New York Times column. (1) She looked at year-to-year and seasonal changes in the ratios of part-time to full-time work for states that were affected by the minimum wage increase as compared to states that were not affected (due to already-higher minimums). Affected states saw a bigger year-to-year decline in the ratio of part-time to full-time work during the summer months, she found, indicating that the increase had caused part-time summer jobs to dry up.
In the past, unemployed teenagers at least had the chance to acquire job skills by taking internships, even without pay. Last year, however, the Department of Labor began a crackdown on unpaid internships, claiming that most work-without-pay arrangements violate the Fair Labor Standards Act. In a fact sheet, the Department says that internships can be exempt from minimum wage laws only if, among other things, "the employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern."
As one would expect, the number of internships available to students immediately dropped. When businesses were forced to pay, they wanted workers who were worth the money, and many young people simply do not have the job skills to provide $7.25 per hour worth of value. That's unfortunate because, with neither lower-paying jobs nor unpaid internships available, there is no easy way for those who lack job skills to get them. Attempting to enter the full-time job market without the work experience provided by internships puts young people at a distinct disadvantage. According to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 42.3 percent of college seniors who had held an internship received at least one job offer, compared to only 30 percent of those with no internship experience. (2)
In the short term, the main consequences of teen unemployment will be borne by teenagers who, as they move into the full-time job market, will find that their past idle summers make it more difficult for them to compete with more experienced workers. In the longer term, however, all of us will be affected by the aftermath of the joblessness faced by today's youth. As I have written here, our country's demographic makeup means that a labor shortage is practically guaranteed in the next few decades. Depriving young people of opportunities to build job skills now will exacerbate that labor shortage by creating a scarcity of experienced workers. The result will likely be a decline in productivity just when our nation needs to maximize its output to support the ever-expanding pool of baby boomer retirees.
Young people need real job experiences in the real world, and some of them need to make real money. Unless we make it profitable for companies to employ teens and feasible to offer internships, the only work experience many young people will get this summer and next is handing out résumés.
1) The New York Times, "Did the Minimum Wage Increase Destroy Jobs?"
2) The Examiner, "We're killing job opportunities, creating hardships"
For more articles, please visit the Palisades Hudson Financial Group LLC newsletter or subscribe to the blog.
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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Smiling to the Bank

How to keep smiling, with or without empty pockets
Several businesses, institutions and even Governments already have an idea about what they want Public Relations and Marketing to do for them. And there are several firms with attractive lingos to choose from. But while achieving excellent results in PR and Marketing may become boring and seemingly easy for experienced Marketing and PR firms the hard question is: Does the strategic and creative plan exist? You see, sales is one thing but medium and long term planning may call for flexibility and different approaches because the emphasis is on IMAGE. Former late and esteemed Barbados Prime Minister Errol Barrow once asked of citizens: What mirror image do you have of yourself? If we flip the coin I would ask: What image do you want for yourself, your business, your institution?
Deep pockets or empty pockets the solution is to find creative solutions that are sustainable. Recently a client mentioned they had shelved plans for advertising. "Everyone is telling me I have to pay," he said repeatedly. Not so I assured him. So I am working to prove him wrong. But do you know what is the bigger challenge? Convincing the client to understand that there are creative solutions.
In times of recession, with deep or empty pockets for individuals, companies and institutions it is possible to go smiling all the way to the bank - even with empty pockets!
Media houses, either traditional media or new media, thrive on news that their customers are looking for. These audiences are broken down by individual interests, cultures and age. But companies, individuals and institutions are sources of information. And information can be newsworthy. The challenge is to find or mine that information and package it to meet the needs of diverse audiences. For example, the business of a company may be embedded creatively in an article on industry trends without advertising products or services. Then there is Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. With a decent camcorder and free video formatting software you can create interesting videos that promote your business indirectly on both your Youtube channel and Facebook page. And Twitter tweets can be used for direct sales pitches and to promote your Youtube and FB pages. With some technical assistance you can have a blog with decent, customised signage.
So the technology and tools are there, but you will still need an experienced PR or Marketing consultant. If you are very short on money then the option is to bend your back to the plough. If there is an available budget the ideal option would be outsource services to specialists. I hope this article has been an eye opener.
Hallam Hope is a Marketing & Public Relations consultant.
Email:, (246) 822-1414
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Saturday, 20 August 2011

3 Hot Tips To Attract Highly Targeted Prospects

How do you appeal to potential clients to purchase from your small business?
It's entirely possible that you have the most effective product or service in your niche. But if nobody has seen your product or great sales letter then you definitely won't make a dollar.
For that purpose small business owners spend most of their time, money and effort trying to get their product or service in front of as many, focused, hungry, receptive prospects as possible. This seems hard to do but not if you use the right methods.
Here are three effective, proven strategies for attracting new customers:
1: Social Media Marketing
Business people know that social media marketing has been with us for a while now however the truth is business is just starting to understand how to use it effectively. You possibly can build relationships, your company reputation, develop networks and contacts through social media sites. The more you can set yourself up as knowledgable in your niche and build your social media community the more you will benefit.
So where do you have to start? Here's a few of the most popular right now.
- Web 2.0 content material sites like and
- Social Networking Sites. Sites like and will let you discover or even create niche-particular teams of people. These are nice websites for building up a community of like-minded people who share the same tastes.
- Social Bookmarking Sites. Websites akin to, and These sites are usually a useful tool when building your viral advertising campaigns.
2: Marketing By Search Engines
This must be a daily part of your advertising efforts as all of the content material that you present needs to be optimized for the major search engines rank as high as possible.
So how do you get site visitors from the search engines? Well, there are two ways.
1. From using specific key phrases and key phrase phrases inside your content, ranking well and showing within the search engine results when someone types in that keyword or phrase.
2. Or you need to use Pay Per Click advertising in order be featured in the major search engines sponsored results. The biggest and best is Google AdWords. Both of those strategies are useful additions to your advertising toolbox. Can you imagine receiving pure, organic traffic straight from the major search engines for months and even years to return, all free of charge? And PPC advertising permits you to goal those people looking for a selected thing, instantly.
3: Buying Promoted Banners and Ezines
Another solution to get your services or products in front of those hungry purchasers is by placing adverts in a targeted way. This can be executed both online and offline.
Online options:
- Specific niche targeted ezines and newsletters. Search for your area of interest plus "ezines" on Google will get you started.
- Buy advertising space on blogs aimed toward your niche.
- Buy banner advertisements on targeted area of interest sites
Offline publications:
- Discover a common publication within your niche, place an advert telling folks where to see your offer.
Which Marketing Method Is Right For You? These are methods which were tried, tested and successful for a few years and they are not about to stop now. Do not concentrate on one methodology however as a substitute think about utilizing all of them as part of a complete advertising and marketing strategy.
Written by Francine Bishop. Francine is the founder of Social Media Mayvin, providing coaching to small business owners to get past the overwhelm and make more money, do less work and have fun along the way. Visit for your free audio CD giving you the 7 step system to small business success, including how you can systemise, socialise and monetise more than ever before.
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Friday, 19 August 2011

Keys to Success in San Diego Businesses - Ensuring That You Succeed

Without question, San Diego is a city filled with business potential. Countless businesses began their life in the city as mere startups but grew to massive success quickly thanks to a combination of service and good strategies. If you're hoping to open your own small business in San Diego, you'll need to follow a few key steps to help bolster your chances of success. California has many unique restrictions and licensing requirements, so keep those in mind and ensure that you obtain them all. Taxes, unemployment accounts, business ID numbers, and many other filing requirements must be taken seriously.
San Diego is one of the most unique cities in the country,with many areas that have a personality of their own. Coronado, for example, became a resort destination in 1888 thanks to the grand Hotel de Coronado's opening. It maintains its upscale destination status today. The beaches of La Jolla are far different, hosting an eclectic mix of businesses on every beach from Pacific Beach to La Jolla Cove. If you want your small business to succeed, you'll need to ensure that you locate it properly.A surfing store is better suited to La Jolla than Coronado, for example.Location is a key element and should never be overlooked.
The most important part of starting a small business in San Diego will be your business plan. Great business plans take hundreds of hours to write, with research taking up as much or more time than the actual process of writing the plan out. It seems like a tedious process, but it is truly necessary. A business plan not only helps you get funding from investors or secure a loan from a bank, but also helps you understand exactly what you need to do in order to succeed in your business. If you doubt your abilities or simply don't have the time, you can hire professional business plan writers to take over this step for you and deliver a great business plan.
Once you've got the licenses required, written a great business plan, and secured the cash you need to open your business, the final step is simply to follow that plan to the letter. If you've done it correctly, your business plan will provide the blueprint you need to build your business and take it from startup to powerhouse. From costs and expenses to overall operating strategies, following it will be vital. Of course, things change and your business plan may need to change as you go along, but keeping it close to your heart will help you find the success that you dream of.
Tyler Jensen is the Founder and CEO of The Startup Garage.Tyler is a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, who started VAVI Sport and Social Club,a sports leagues and social events company in San Diego. He grew the company to over 25,000 members in 6 years before selling it for over 25x the capital investment. Since,Tyler has found himself passionate about helping new entrepreneurs develop startups, and launched The Startup Garage in order to help them succeed.
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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Business Proposal Format: How To Write a Superior Letter Proposal

In general, there are two types of business proposal formats: the full proposal (formal proposal) and the letter proposal. The full proposal is a longer more complete business proposal that often spans 15 to 100 pages. This is the type of proposal that is often used for public/federal grants. The letter proposal is a shorter, two to five page business proposal, that is primarily used for private sponsors. The focus of this article is on the letter proposal
Essential Requirements Of The "Letter" Business Proposal Format
At the very minimum, the letter proposal must include 2 basic components: the problem to be solved and the solution that you are offering. This is a bit of an oversimplification, as a complete proposal template should include seven basic parts: a summary paragraph, your sponsor appeal, the problem to be solved, your solution, your capabilities or credentials, your budget, and a closing/concluding paragraph. It is important to understand, that the format or template for this proposal is literally a "letter." Including standard letter components like the date, address of recipient, a salutation ("Dear Mr. Smith"), and a letter closing ("Sincerely,"). Most of these seven parts are self explanatory, so I will focus just two of these components: the problem to be solved and the solution that you are offering.
The Problem to be Solved
The most fundamental component of the "letter" business proposal format is the "problem." When writing about the problem that you are solving, make sure to express it from the perspective of the sponsor. Remember, their main goal is not funding your project, but rather to solve a problem that they perceive. Show them that you understand their mission and you are "on their side." Focus on the difference between the current state of affairs and a future where the problem is solved. Focus on the "need" for the improvement from a financial, productivity, or efficiency standpoint.
The Solution
Your job here is to convince the sponsor that you have a solution to their problem and you are confident that your solution will help them. Note: this is the most important component of any business proposal format. Give an overall description of your methodology, but don't go into too much detail. Make sure you tie the steps and details of your solution to the sponsors needs. Use strong statements that convey confidence like, "I strongly urge you to move forward..." Differentiate yourself from the competition by describing the weaknesses of your competitors approach.
In Summary
In this article about the "letter" business proposal format, I have stressed examples of content that will make your business proposal standout. You should be able to write your proposal using a standard word processor and a letter template. Following these guidelines will greatly increase your chances of success. If you choose to outsource this task to save yourself time, you may want to consider proposal software that can shorten the process for you. Good luck and I wish you success!
For more information, Jason Trimmel has started a great website on Business Proposal Formats at
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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Creating Professional Word Documents at Work

Here are some tips for creating better Word documents:
1. Choose your content carefully. Keep it simple, to-the-point with as little jargon and rhetoric as possible. Be selective about your content and make sure you stay focused. It's important to read and reread what you have written to make sure it is grammatically correct, uses proper punctuation and make sense. Having someone else review your document will also mitigate the changes for error. Always remember to spell check your document. If you have access to a grammar-check, it would be helpful to run the document through that as well.
2. Select or create a document theme. Microsoft Office has some great themes to ensure your document is coordinated with respect to fonts, colors and graphics. Themes can not only offer your document a professional flare, but also make it look consistent. When one page flows visually into the text, the continuity of style can offer continuity of content as well.
3. Create your own set of styles. Using the same font for everything you do within your documents can streamline all of your communication. Consistently using Times Roman with a size of 12 or Comic Sans size 10 will help your reader feel comfortable with your style and recognize it quickly.
4. Use graphics to illustrate key points. Don't be afraid to use graphics to accentuate your ideas and add value to what you are writing. Be sure not to over-due graphics as well. The written content is the most valuable material you have to offer the reader. Using the graphics can simply at support and documentation to your assertions.
For the more elaborate documents you may need to generate here are four additional tips:
5. Use tables for page layouts. Tables look great, professional and are easy to manage. They can offer substance to your document as well.
6. Use heading styles and a table of contents. These also add value to your document and professionalism. They also allow your reader to know what to expect and have a general idea of your ability to communicate the material.
7. Use footnotes for supporting details. These can also add value. Footnotes indicate you have done your homework and researched some (if not all) of the information you are providing in the document. Showing what sources you use also gives weight to your document.
8. Add an appendix. Providing supporting information continues to add value to your document.
We write in order to materialize or ideas into documents which can be useful to our superiors, co-workers and customers. It's important to write informative and concise documents, which send a message to your readers about who you are and what you have to say. Remaining focused, clear and accurate is critical so you are not misunderstood, underestimated or worse-yet, ignored.
Elena Celona is the Director of Consider This Training. CTT offers accredited courses in Retail, Retail Management, Business, Business Administration, Aged Care and Disability. CTT also offers workshops in first aid as well as corporate training packages designed to enhance the productivity and emotional intelligence of staff. For further information, please visit to claim your free guide on finding your ideal job. You are welcome to call CTT on (03) 9091 3150 or visit CTT's training facility at 66-68 Dudley Street, West Melbourne.
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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Financial Impact Of Fraud In Your Business

Fraud is a secret crime, often gnawing away at the stability of a business from within. It goes undetected until its effects are so great that it may even be too late to do anything about it. This is why the amount of fraud is not accurately understood, because it can only be counted when it is discovered and investigated.
There is probably a connection between the incidence of fraud and the strength of a nation's economy. As an example, in countries experiencing widescale tax avoidance these is no investment available for public facilities such as hospitals, police forces and the like. For a business, a fraudster can cause a business to fail completely. Often fraudsters are only found out if the internal workings of a business are opened up when being scrutinised by an insolvency practitioner.
So what can be done about fraud, to prevent it from occurring in the first place? Money spent on fraud prevention need not be substantial to be effective, but when it is estimated that 7% of business profits on average are lost to fraud each year, spending on a few fraud prevention measures should merit a reasonable priority from management!
One of the best ways that a business can start to address the risk of fraud is by introducing what is commonly termed a formal "Fraud Policy Document". This is simply the recognition by the company, put in writing and communicated to all members of staff and even to customers and suppliers, that a firm stance against fraud is being taken.
A fraud policy is often a glossy book, published at some cost, particularly for large international businesses. However, it could be a short photocopied sheet of paper in the smallest concern. It must communicate important messages to the whole workforce, managers included. This message can be brief:
· The company will not tolerate fraud
· The company expects all staff to take the same position
· Suspicions of fraud must be communicated to the appropriate authority
· All frauds will be fully investigated and prosecuted
When managers install a suitably worded fraud policy and begin to demonstrate from the top that fraud and malpractice is not tolerated, the tone of the company improves and provides a less fertile breeding ground for fraud. What the policy achieves is a demonstration that an organisation is no longer complacent when it comes to fraud, and this "culture" will prevent all but the most determined fraudster from plying his or her trade. It is not possible to prevent fraud from happening one hundred percent, but installing a fraud policy will reduce the risk to a manageable level. It is an essential starting point before introducing sensible accounting controls and other fraud prevention measures.
Mark Jenner is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a Certified Fraud Examiner and has a Masters Degree in Fraud Management. He runs his own forensic accounting business specialising in fraud and crime.
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Monday, 15 August 2011

Document Imaging Is the New and More Efficient Way to Archive

Document imaging may be one of the most helpful technologies available today, especially to companies who have to deal with a lot of storing, filing, and sorting paper works. With these new form of technology, everything seems to be a lot easier. There are plenty of reasons to invest in these solutions for your own business, regardless of its size or industry, simply because it affords you a superior means of managing information.
Companies deal with a lot of papers and documents to file their records. However, paper is one of the materials that can't last forever. Since the invention of document imaging devices, companies can now convert and secure their important documents in a digital, "soft copy" for future reference. This will also preserve your files in their original condition so that you never have to worry about them deteriorating.
In this way, companies will save resources, money, space, and time in sorting out important records of the company. Digital copies are not perishable compared to paper. There are companies which offer document imaging and more services like OCR or Optical Character Recognition conversion and electronic document storage.
Document scanning is a process where you convert your tangible, files on paper, to a soft, digital copy. It may be on a PDF, tiff, or.doc format. This can be easily uploaded into websites and stored in online server. The internet has become one of the most convenient portals for business transactions. This is why many companies prefer online advertisements and online database for their files, so that people could easily access and view it.
On the other hand, the OCR conversion allows you to convert your documents in a rich text format so that it can be searched by keyword. It makes the document ready for upload in websites, which can be easily formatted and edited. Converted documents can be easily located by phrases or keywords. It is a better alternative to archive your files aside from using folders, racks, and building storage rooms.
Lastly, another great service to try is the electronic document storage, which enables the client to upload their files in a secured online server. This is a great way to communicate with prospect clients. The company will have an access to the documents at their preferred server. Just make sure that you are working with a reliable document host so that you're valued documents will not be hacked.
For more information on document imaging please visit
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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Buying or Selling a Business in North Carolina

The State of North Carolina has experienced strong growth in the business sector and this trend is likely to continue for the next several decades. The exceptional small business fundamentals coupled with the high quality of life factors (mild climate, cultural activities, low cost of living, proximity to both the beaches and mountains, and number of professional sporting teams) has propelled North Carolina to the top position of nearly every list ranking which areas are the best to conduct business. The increasing demand for buying small businesses in NC has been a large factor leading to the tremendous success that business brokerage companies have experienced. Listed below are some of the notable accolades that North Carolina has received over the last several years.
  • Raleigh was ranked #1 by as the Best Place for Careers & Business in 2011.
  • In 2011, Site Selection magazine ranked Raleigh # 1 by Site Section for the best business climate, the ninth time out of the last ten years. With low businesses costs (18 percent below the national average), and the second highest net migration rate in the U.S. over the past five years, it's no wonder why Raleigh continues to receive this accolade.
  • Builder Magazine has named the Raleigh-Cary area the healthiest of the 100 largest US housing markets in March of 2011. Rankings were based on a number of elements, including house price appreciation/depreciation, job growth, household and income growth, building permit activity and unemployment rates.
  • The Raleigh-Cary metro area was named the # 5 Strongest Job Market in the U.S. by Manpower in July 2010. Raleigh, as a component of the Research Triangle Park provides many opportunities for business expansion in the info technology, healthcare & biotechnology fields. The excellent base of talent and an expansive higher education system has made both Cary & Raleigh a haven for business expansion and steady job growth.
  • CEO Magazine ranked North Carolina the Best State for Business in May 2011.
  • A June 2011 CNBC survey ranked North Carolina the #3 America's Top State for Business.
  • In 2011, Forbes ranked The Research Triangle the #2 Region for Overall Population Increase.
  • Forbes also ranked the State of North Carolina #3 by Forbes for highest job growth over the past two decades.
  • North Carolina was ranked the #5 'Pro Business' State by Pollina Corporate Real Estate.
  • In October 2010, the Milken Institute ranked the Raleigh-Cary area as the #7 Best Performing area.
  • North Carolina was ranked #1 in 2010 for the Lowest State & Local Tax Burden on Business by the Council on State Taxation.
  • Four North Carolina cities make's list of Best Places to Live in April 2010.
  • Forbes placed the cities of Raleigh, Charlotte, and Durham on the list of Best Places for Business and Careers in April 2010.
  • In October 2009, placed four North Carolina cities on their list of best places for small business start-ups.
  • The presence of North Carolina State University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill has helped to fuel local growth in the Raleigh area. The city has received a very positive boost from these 3 elite local schools contributing to a more intelligent labor force (notable is the fact that 42% of Raleigh's population has a college degree).
About the Author:
Michael Fekkes is a Senior Broker at ENLIGN Business Brokers in Nashville, TN. Michael is a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI), a member of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), as well as a former business owner. ENLIGN Business Brokers is a Professional Services Firm that is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with regional offices in Nashville, TN & Atlanta, GA providing business intermediary services ranging from valuation and sale to exit & succession planning strategies. If you need a Nashville Business Broker, or want to sell a privately held business in the Southeast Region please be sure to visit ENLIGN Business Brokers.
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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Benefits of Maintaining Current Accounts

Current accounts generally cater to individuals and organizations with voluminous banking transactions daily. For reasons of convenience, the account holder would want the bank to take care of their receipts and disbursements.
Most individuals who open this account did so because they are looking for products that can accommodate deposits of their paychecks. Some opened this type of bank account because of its auto-debit features to pay their regular dues and liabilities.
But aside from these, current accounts have other benefits. They can serve you in countless ways to give you a fast and convenient banking transaction. Some of these "extra" benefits are as follows:
  1. You can do your bank transactions online. As long as you have internet connection, bank transactions are now within your fingertips. All you have to do is enroll your account to your bank's page and you have unlimited online banking access. This allows real time tracking of your banking transactions to prevent your checks from bouncing.
  2. You can issue checks for your cash disbursement needs. This allows you to make a cashless payment. This will also increase your liquidity as you can make purchases or pay debts by issuing checks.
  3. Aside from issuing checks, you can also make ATM withdrawals. Most current accounts come with ATM cards to give you a more convenient way of withdrawing your funds. You just need to access an ATM, which is generally available 24/7.
  4. In case your account balance is insufficient to cover an issued check, you can avail of an overdraft facility to prevent you from issuing bounced checks. Most banks provide this facility to their current account holders but not without an extra cost. But paying the cost for the overdraft facility would be better than borrowing cash to pay your entire transaction.
  5. Current accounts can also allow you to transfer funds to your other accounts. This is normally done online.
  6. These accounts earn interest, although the interest is lower compared with savings accounts.
If you are still in doubt that a current account is for you, honestly answer the questions that follow. Any "YES" is an indication that you need to have a current account.
  1. Do you want to have a checkbook and an ATM card?
  2. Do you need to monitor your bank account 24/7?
  3. Do you want an overdraft facility in case you run out of funds?
  4. Do you want a convenient way of paying bills by doing it online?
  5. Do you want to earn interest while banking?
  6. Do you want all these features in one account?
Jason O. Joaquin is an accountant and freelance business consultant. Currently, he is employed as Internal Audit Manager in a group of companies in southern Philippines.
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Friday, 12 August 2011

Things to Consider When Opening a Current Account

Current accounts have become popular nowadays because they meet two of the most important banking requirements: they offer a secure way of storing money; and, they allow a wide range of day-to-day banking transactions. Whether the account holder is an individual or an organization, these accounts provide a stress-free banking experience.
Most current accounts offer the same benefits and features - checkbook, ATM card for withdrawal, access for online transactions, overdraft facility, ability to earn interest - just to name a few. The bottom line would be: With which banking institution would you open your account? What will make you decide which bank to open your current account with?
It makes sense to look for a bank that works hard for the hard-earned cash you store while not penalizing you heavily for going into the red. You can make a rewarding research to find the bank that would give you a better financial return. The "unseen" factors to consider when opening a current account are as follows:
Rates. You have to make a careful consideration of the account's Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). AER refers to the amount of interest your account expects to earn; APR deals with what is charged to you for any money you overdraw. To get the best deal, it would be best to find a bank that offers competitive AER on your money and a low APR on your overdraft facility.
Terms and Conditions. Most deals in the marketplace are packaged attractively so you have to be on guard for pre-conditions attached. One of these pre-conditions may include a lower interest rate after a certain period of time. Some interest rates are tiered so that your interest fluctuates with amount of money stored in your account. There are banks who offer promotional rates but only to lure you to open accounts with them.
Extras. Look for packages that come with extras. At least, you should be rewarded for opening your current account with them. Some of these extras may include travel insurance or breakdown cover.
With just a little amount patience and some additional research, it is possible to find a current account deal that is tailored to your taste. You can always find a deal that would work in your favor. Just remember the three unseen factors to consider when opening current accounts - rates, terms and conditions, and extras - and you are off to wonderful banking experience.
Jason O. Joaquin is an accountant and freelance business consultant. Currently, he is employed as Internal Audit Manager in a group of companies in southern Philippines.
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Thursday, 11 August 2011

Protect The Value Of Your Assets With Preventative Maintenance Solutions

Each major building repair that your property requires is not only costly; it also threatens the overall value of your biggest assets. Stay on top of potential problems with effective preventative maintenance solutions from an experienced and knowledgeable facility maintenance company. Not only will a regular maintenance schedule help prevent problems; it will also lead to higher asset appreciation and better aesthetic appeal.
Indoor And Outdoor Maintenance Solutions
Just because you don't have a building repair to do, doesn't mean there aren't maintenance tasks to be completed. There are many benefits to hiring a facilities maintenance company to formulate preventative maintenance solutions and plans so that you can appropriately anticipate upcoming costs and expenses.
Important aspects of this plan should include:
• An annual checkup to ensure compliance of safety and fire codes
• An outdoor lawn maintenance schedule
• A comprehensive and regular cleaning service for common areas
• Regular checkups and maintenance of major trade services (such as HVAC, boiler systems, gas services, etc.)
Preventative Maintenance Results In Significant Savings
Being able to accurately anticipate your annual maintenance and repair costs means that you can properly allocate your capital throughout the year. Regular checkups performed by a skilled professional will help machinery and systems run longer and more efficiently, saving money in the long run.
A full-service company will be able to provide you with both short-term and long-term planning, as well as let you know when to expect equipment replacement. All of this means more effective use of cash-flow and fewer property management emergencies.
Accurate Record Keeping Helps With Building Repair
When you take your car into the shop, the technicians may ask when the last service was performed on the vehicle. The same thing happens when a building repair comes up, and diagnostic evaluation can be made faster and easier with proper records on hand. Part of effective maintenance solutions includes a comprehensive schedule and record of all checkups and maintenance performed on each system on the property. In addition, having clear records makes it easy to see what preventative services need to be completed, and what areas might require repair or replacement.
Preventative Maintenance Solutions Ensure Compliance For Safety And Insurance
Part of preventative maintenance solutions includes ensuring that all facility systems are within state or federal compliance guidelines, as well as within OHSA requirements. Not only does this mean fewer safety concerns, it also means that obtaining insurance is easier with evidence of proper maintenance.
What Types Of Building Repair Might Be Needed?
A company that is willing to help prepare maintenance solutions for your facility or complex should also be licensed and experience for building repair. To keep a property up to code, building repair items may include general carpentry, painting, glass replacement, doors and windows, brick and stucco repairs, or work on walls, closets, and counter tops.
Protect the value of your assets and save money by staying ahead of building repair costs with a regular schedule of preventative maintenance solutions.
Chris Harmen is a writer for Tru-Serve, a building maintenance building repair company that provides professional facility maintenance maintenance solutions throughout the Twin cities (Minneapolis, MN and St. Paul, MN.)
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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Banks Try And Say They Are Increasing Capital Buffers To an Acceptable Level, But Are They Really?

There has been major debate lately regarding the financial stability of the banks. Given the large bail out of the banks coming from taxpayer money and the massive under capitalization of some of the major banks it is apparent that there is a huge need for change in some of the bank's capital reserve structures. The banks have been getting pressure from the "Basel Committee on Banking Supervision" to increase reserves and prevent another hit to the global financial system. Currently banks are required to hold 7% of their assets in reserve and they plan on increasing reserves to 8% - 9.5% total and to implement the change over a 3 year term. Based on the massive bail outs that previously happened this does not seem like near enough of a reserve and more of a political ploy to show that they are trying to make a change to benefit the global financial system. While I agree this is a step in the right direction I do not believe it is anywhere near enough.
These kind of reserve requirements are not sufficient due to the fractional reserve banking system whereby a bank takes in customer deposits, takes out a reserve and then loans out the remainder which in turn artificially increases the money supply.
For example, if you deposit $100 in a bank, the bank is only required to keep a small portion (say 20% or $20) in reserves. The remaining $80 is lent out to another person. Now that money is deposited into another bank that keeps a reserve (say 20% or $16) and loans out $64. That means out of the original $100 deposit there is a total of $36 in reserves ($20 + $16) and $144 lent out ($80 + $64). So instead of the $100 deposit the banks have created $180 of money supply into the economy.
This is a HUGE issue because this is how the banks got in trouble in the first place, loaning more money than their balance sheet can support if there are any problems. Plus it causes inflation due to an increase in money supply. Yes an increase in money supply can help the economy function but at what cost? Based on my experience in real estate and investment lending and assessing risk associated with those investments, I can tell you that the banks are not assessing risk correctly. They are over leveraging and the government is backing them (aka we as tax paru millions, and the government said that if you lose the billion they would bail you out with no legal implications, what would you do? In fact this is exactly what the banks did and they were bailed out, except they found a way to make profits off of the entire situation at the same time. So not only did they lose the taxpayers money through the bail out, they are making even more money on the bailout itself. There is something intrinsically wrong with this system and it needs to be changed in order to have a stable future global economy.
Owens Consulting Group founder Mathew Owens is a California licensed CPA and a full time real estate investor. Mathew has 8 years of experience working as a CPA, auditor and business advisor, and he has completed over 100 transactions in the past three years, representing approximately $10 million in real estate, most of which has been sold to cash flow investors. Read more of his blogs at
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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Will The US Government Seek Revenge On The Credit Rating Agencies Which Downgrade Them?

When it comes to economic theory, it seems to me that the socialists are about as evangelical about their methods for controlling capital, labor, and production flows as the Christians are on morality issues. For instance, if you've ever tried to argue economic theory with a socialist, or a far left-leaning thinker, you would immediately see what I mean, and some of the challenges in hypocrisy involved in the logic of their reasoning.
Now then, I don't know what you know about regulatory agencies in the United States, but I happen to know a lot from experience being in business. The federal government doesn't like to be made to look like fools. And most of the folks who are in regulatory agencies are left-leaning thinking bureaucrats, along with the Democratic politicians who more recently have been dictating what these regulatory agencies should be doing in the marketplace.
In watching this situation unfold with Standard & Poor's downgrading the credit rating of the United States government, I would imagine that there will be regulatory agencies which will review that credit rating agency's criteria, and other dealings on Wall Street. We already know that the federal government's Justice Department has been investigating the credit rating agencies as to their role in the global crash caused by the US real estate market.
Yes, it is true that the credit rating agencies could be considered an enabler from a philosophical standpoint, and therefore they are not without critique, as they were a major player during that time. Although it's been almost 3 years now, the SEC and other regulatory agencies till haven't got to the bottom of why everything collapsed in 2008, and some very powerful players were able to dodge the bullet, and deflect blame.
Many would say this merely reflects the unhealthy and incestuous relationship between Wall Street and the federal government. The reason I can make that statement is I am one of them who might challenge those relationships, along with Adam Smith who obviously forewarned us centuries the prior. There seems to be quite a bit of talk and even intimidation towards S & P by the US treasury, and the Obama Administration for their downgrade.
If I were running S & P, I would gather my lawyers and be prepared for a regulatory investigation and attack due to the decision to go for the downgrade. I am quite certain that other credit rating agencies are also considering a downgrade, but don't dare, because they don't want to jeopardize their future earnings, or status in the industry. No credit rating agency would wish to take the flak from the federal government, the regulators, or the onslaught of lawsuits.
Now that let me repeat the question; "will the US government seek revenge on the credit rating agencies which downgrade them?" My answer to this rhetorical question is yes, and I would like to point to historical regulatory advancement on various industries as the reason for my answer. Time will tell. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.
Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank. Lance Winslow believes writing 24,444 articles by September 4th at 4:44 PM will be difficult because all the letters on his keyboard are now worn off now..
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