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Category Archives: Banking

What’s The Right Credit Card For My Business?

gty_credit_card_choice_kb_130405_wgA number of credit card providers have been really aiming at including small businesses in their product line. For new, small businesses this can work wonders as it is a lot easier to get a credit card than a loan from a bank.

Of course, there are dozens of choices available and this can often make it quite hard to choose a specific card. The best way to evaluate the sort of card that’s best for your business is to take a look at its spending habits. Different businesses have different spending habits, depending on the sort of business they have.

Balance

Consider if you plan on paying the balance over each month, or whether you will pay it off with time and want to pay the minimum payment. If you do decide to carry the balance then you will need to take a look at the annual percentage rate, as this can end up being quite costly for business if it goes wrong.

For those that wish to carry their balance and also have good credit, take a look to see if you can get a 0% credit card, as this will mean you pay nothing back for a set period. Fixed rates can be very attractive when interest rates are rising; however this is not the case currently.

For businesses that pay all of their balance each month, they should look for cards with rewards or longer periods of grace. These businesses can benefit greatly from paying back and the rewards for being disciplined are good. However, make sure you are disciplined as the costs for not being so are also high.

Charge Cards

A good alternative to the credit card is the charge card. This card differs as it allows businesses to have a short line of credit. The card will always be paid back in the full amount at the end of the month and there are harsh penalties. However, if you do pay back in full your business will receive a number of benefits for doing so. Charge cards often also charge an annual fee and there is a similar process to the credit card application online, when applying for one.

Though, if you do need flexibility, then a credit card is a better option – just be aware of the interest charges and when you need to pay the balance.

Rewards

We’ve mentioned rewards on a number of occasions and both credit card and charge card companies issue these. These often come in the shape of air miles, cash back and discounts at retailers, hotels or for services. Access to airport lounges and hotel upgrades are also part and parcel of these benefits and perks. The main thing here is to pay attention to the fine print if you choose a card with these perks, as the costs of not meeting the criteria are high.

So, in conclusion, the best way to choose a card is to look at your businesses situation and all the financial products out there and then take your ability to pay into account. By then choosing a card around your ability to pay, you can be sure that you will avoid steep charges and gain all the benefits you can.

Cormac Reynolds writes financial articles for a variety of businesses and blogs and has done so for many years.

 

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Congressional Reform Act of 2012

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:”I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congressare ineligible for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds)
took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple!
The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year
or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to
a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will
have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed
around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no
pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social
Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all
Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and
participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the
American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void
effective 12/1/12. The American people did not make this
contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their
term(s), then go home and back to work.

 

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Mexican Labor in California: can ya even still tuck your own baby in at night?

As much as we would like to bitch and moan at the fact that they’re “taking our jobs,” The undeniable truth is that we would be up a fecal creek without a paddle without our neighbors from the south.  I am not talking about having to order a McDonald’s double double in Spanish, or possibly saying “leche” instead of milk, I am talking about the backbone of the “AmericanService industry.  When was the last time you had an all white crew clean your office?

We just spent a long weekend with our relatives from Chicago. Brother-in-law who is an investment banker, with a great deal of knowledge about the workings of life itself, issued the following observation from a Chicago perspective:

Not only are they willing to do some of the things that we are not, they are actually more acclimated to some of the conditions that we are.  Can you imagine a gringo now days working on a roof at 120° with a tar mop, or a nail gun? We just had our roof completely replaced on an 8000 square-foot triplex, by a “American” contractor. The work was amazing, and the direction did come from Ryan Saber, but I guarantee that not one gringo lifted a hammer. Job well done, but if the truth be known, the actual work was done by the Latin crew.  The skill in acumen of these people has long transcended the ability to take our lettuce and strawberries.  I went on a sport fishing trip over the weekend, and guess what nationality the kid was who is taking care of all of the tackle in managing that none of our lines got crossed?

Of course, when the neighbor had to have four 100 foot palm trees removed from her property, a feat that was accomplished with amazing skill and precision, guess who was called again.  After the cleanup, guess who again was called to install the new landscaping.  As I sat on the porch watching this deficient machine in action (in the company of the two Mexican people that clean my house for me) I was again struck with the fact that it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a white boy bending over with a pick his hand.

What reminded me to post this blog is the following: after putting in an excruciating seven-hour day at my laptop preparing social media profiles and redesigning websites while watching last night’s football game on TiVo, I was relaxing on my front porch by 5 o’clock enjoying an adult beverage when a delivery truck arrived with the neighbors washer and dryer. Although slightly annoyed by the idling diesel and it’s combatant fumes which were interrupting the solitude of my egregiously exhausting day, I stopped to take notice. These guys showed up and performed an absolutely amazing job. It would’ve taken we gringos an hour to do what they did in about five minutes if we have had sense to do it.

Not only did they cut all of the boxes and drop the washer and dryer amazingly skillfully, they had the sense to put all of the attachments i.e. hoses and wires onto the appliances before they even bothered to wield them into the house.

This is not to mention the hundreds and thousands of quote “professional people” that happen to be of Hispanic descent.  The Dr. that I visited an emergency room last night, my Dentist and my Atty.  are but a few that come to mind.

I guess what I’m saying is “since we’re neighbors let’s be friends.” I grow tired of my “patriotic” friends complaining about other people who were not only willing to do things that we are not, but do them far better than we would be able to even if we were willing.

We as a country have lots of things to work out; including welfare, social Security, education, and (frankly) language skills… but the bottom line is that we welcome them into our country every day.  It might be skillful to realize that we do have  things to work out, and to get on with doing that instead of watching Fox news to find reasons to fear and hate.

Both of my children attended Adalante Spanish immersion school. I had a chance to see firsthand how many families were working three jobs, commuting literally hundreds of miles in some cases, and doing everything they could to better their families and contribute to their communities.

I can understand how some “every day working Joe’s” might feel that they are being treated unfairly, and have some resentment about “social benefits for illegal’s.” (I wont even go into the argument of whether they have just as much right to be here as we do). What I really can’t understand, is how some bloated trust fund politician that has never had a real job in their life could have the audacity to challenge the right of an oppressed people to come to America for refuge, and to work hard to make a living for there families, largely doing work that we cannot and are not willing to do any more.

 

What ever happened to …

“Give me your tired , your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free… “

Did that have an expiration date that I was unaware of?

Muchas gracias a mis amigos que trabajan duro!

 

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Plastic Card Alternatives

Last time, I wrote something about how wood pulps can be used to make biodegradable plastic cards for retailer and business promos. Of course, we all know that this will definitely require an expensive machine, or an equally huge fund, in order to pull off. This virtually renders smaller businesses unable to make these eco-friendly cards. These cards are very helpful with promoting your business, and you can’t just stop using them for your promos, memberships, and gift cards. If you’re one of those businesses who are looking for a cheap, eco-friendly alternative to plastic cards, then you are in luck. I’ve listed down a couple of alternative media and materials that you can use to market your business the same way as how you use your standard Plastic cards!

PaperPaper is the obvious choice if you’re looking for the cheapest alternative. It’s easier and cheaper to produce paper cards than their plastic counterparts. They are made of resources such as wood or used paper, which are quite renewable. The card itself is biodegradable and easily disposable. This card is the perfect choice for one-time use cards such as discount vouchers or gift cards. The only flaw with paper cards is that it is not practical to use them for data cards with magnetic strips – but you can definitely add QR and Bar codes in it, just as long as customers make sure these paper cards won’t get wet.

E-Mails – E-mails are the fastest and easiest way to get in touch with a potential client or customer. However, using e-mails for marketing will also require you to make a decent-looking webpage. There are also unwritten, ethical rules regarding the use of e-mails for marketing. Rememember that people do not want spam, so don’t send it to just anyone! You’ll want to post a “news feed” subscription in your site so that you’ll be able to have an e-mail list where you can send e-mails without worry. You should also mention that you’ll be randomly giving away discount promos via e-mail to encourage folks to subscribe.

Mobile Gadgets – I was planning to list “alternative” to your typical plastic cards but this one is more of like the plastic card’s “next step in evolution”. The invention of smartphone innovated how common folks gain access to resources that you can’t usually get from outside your home, such as electronic cash and Internet. Your business shouldn’t get left behind by this technology, so start taking advantage of it! Electronic credit is already accessible via smartphones so folks can pay for your products or services on the dot. A lot of freeware sites provide ways for clients and customers to scan QR and Bar codes with their smartphone’s cameras. The image above is a great example for using these scanners: Koreans placed a virtual grocery store for customers to scan. Each item for sale has its own QR code to be added to your shopping cart. With electronic money, customers can pay for the item and have it delivered to their home while they’re still in the train. Of course not every business can afford electronic billboards like that. For a cheaper alternative, use posters, stickers, or tarpaulin banners.

These 3 tips are both eco-friendly and cheap for small businesses to use. You can even do most of these things on your own! Hopefully, this can help your small business to stay afloat and compete with bigger business rivals.

 

Therese Shaw is an advocate of recycling through turning clutter into art and other practical items. When not doing arts and crafts, she does freelance writing occasionally for companies like Cardprinting.us, a print service that uses environmental friendly plastic cards and offers keytagprinting.

 

VIDEO: Best marriage proposal ever

Isaac Lamb proposed to his girlfriend, Amy, in a very innovative way, and the video has gone viral.
Check out Isaac’s incredible proposal – set to Bruno Mars‘ “Marry You.”

CLICK ON THE PHOTO

 

When Isaac Lamb decided to propose to his girlfriend, Amy, he knew he wanted to do something over-the-top. but not even Amy was prepared for the elaborate proposal he staged with 60 of their closet friends and family members. The video went viral – and has already amassed almost 6 million views on YouTube at last count.

The video even got Bruno Mars’ stamp of approval!

Congrats to Isaac Lamb and the future Mrs.. I don’t think I could’ve made a better music video for this song. Thank youvimeo.com/42828824

 

Environmentally-Friendly Air Travel is Possible, and Here’s How

When one needs to travel a great distance and they want to get there in the most efficient way possible, they will generally book an airline ticket and fly. Aviation has revolutionized how people and goods are moved, but at a significant cost of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is that it’s possible to fly in an eco-friendly way, and below we will share a few easy tips for your next flight.

Check for a Modernized Fleet

Newer aircraft are significantly more aerodynamic and fuel efficient than their elder counterparts, so whenever possible it’s best to fly on the airline with the newer fleet. Airlines take pride in their aircraft, so a quick check on an airline’s website or an online search will tell you the average age of the fleet and perhaps even the airplanes that fly your route.

All-Economy Seating is More Eco-Friendly

A number of airlines throughout the world are flying with a majority of “single class” cabins, which eliminate the necessities of business and first-class seating in order to get more passengers on the airplane. These aircraft will still use the same amount of fuel, but the amount of fuel used per-passenger decreases, and fewer flights are required to move the same amount of people. If you’re flying economy, look for a “single class” flight.

Fly Direct Whenever Possible

The closest distance between two points is a straight line, so if it fits within your schedule and budget it’s best to fly directly to your destination. Stopovers and additional flight time create enormous amounts of additional pollution, as does the higher volume of fuel consumption required for takeoffs and landings.

Leave Unnecessary Materials at Home

Most airlines have begun to charge exorbitant fees for checked baggage, with some going as far as to charge passengers for carry-on bags stowed in overhead bins. The simple solution to save both money and fuel is to avoid bringing anything you don’t need with you on your flight. If you have paper materials, try to see if they can be printed at your destination and make use of local cleaners to reduce the amount of clothing you need.

Following the steps above will help keep your “carbon footprint” to a minimum whilst traveling throughout the skies. For those that fly regularly and would like to go one step further, organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund offer carbon offsets which can be purchased to fund projects such as tree planting initiatives. It might not seem like much, but every step taken is another toward a sustainable future.

Want to take your green living to the next level? Ethosource used cubicles are refurbished to look new, saving you money and reducing waste.

 

What Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google) Can Teach You About a Successful Partnership

 

 

The partnership of Larry Page and Sergey Brin revolutionized the way we access information on the web. Google is one of the most important companies of the 21st Century. Page and Brin took a college project and made it into an incredibly successful business. Along the way, they did it all together and remained equal partners in the development and management of Google. Their ability to work well together is what ultimately made Google great, and their example can teach us a thing or two about what makes a partnership successful.

Good Friends Make Good Partners

Sometimes people advise that you shouldn’t do business with your family or close friends. Page and Brin prove that business and personal don’t have to be so strictly divided. Page and Brin are not only great partners; they’re also very close friends. In their case, their business relationship and friendship began at just about the same time. As their business grew, so did their friendship. They show that a close personal relationship makes for a well-rounded and successful business partnership.
There are No Limits to What You Can Do Together

Page and Brin developed Google together, but their ambitions didn’t stop there. As they became so successful, they branched out and began working on lots of other projects together, too. For example, they’re working on ways to solve the energy crisis with alternative and renewable energy. When you have a good working partnership, it can be expanded to other pursuits. You aren’t limited to working together in your primary business, because the success you find together there can be found anywhere.
Take Full Advantage of Having Two Heads

They say “two heads are better than one,” and it’s true. Page was working on developing the Google search engine before ever meeting Brin, and it’s possible he could have done it alone. But having a partner made things easier, faster, and stronger. They both worked on the engine together equally, and they had better results because of it. Successful partners truly work together on projects. Rather than dividing the labor down the middle, they collaborate on all aspects in order to bring the strength of numbers to every product and part of the business.
Benefits of a Larger Support Network

When Page and Brin were first starting Google and working out of their dorm rooms, as college students they certainly lacked the capital to fully realize their business goals. They looked to their friends and family members to invest money in them. Successful partners realize the benefits of having twice the outside support and connections. Successful partners utilize all the resources of both partners.
Challenge Each Other

Perhaps one of the best aspects of a successful partnership is that each partner can challenge the other. Page and Brin actually disagree quite a lot, and their disagreements challenge them to come up with new solutions and really refine their products. Rather than letting their differing styles ruin their partnership, they appreciate their differences and use them to benefit their company.

Charlie Adams is a tech guru and internet expert who loves to blog about his interests. To ensure all his writing is professional and adheres to the strictest grammar rules he always proofs it with a grammar checker prior to letting anyone read it.

 

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Healthy Staff Investment Aids Business Growth

After many years of experience working within corporate America, I have seen how businesses that invest in the health of employees flourish more than those that make little effort to do so.

Business Losses

Aside from the humanitarian aspects, I have personally experienced and witnessed that unhealthy employees cost a company far more than healthy ones do. It has been estimated that unhealthy staff costs billions of dollars each year for businesses, related to:

- Costly temporary staff replacements;

- Backlogged work;

- Ineffective workflows that create business disruptions;

- Increased heath care premium costs; and

- General lower productivity.

Lessening Stress Promotes Healthy Staff

I also noticed that as a healthy worker, I was far more productive than when I was ill. Nearly every sickness I ever had was related in some way to the often needless stress from:

- Lack of organization;

- Unrealistic workloads;

- Being continually exposed to employees who were sick.

Doctors have recognized how stress plays a large factor in illness. Stressed out, overworked staff will spend more time at the doctor’s office which drive up health care costs. Additionally, unhealthy workers greatly contribute to business disruptions.

European Human Resources Philosophy

Many European businesses have been way ahead of the U.S. when it comes to the overall treatment of their employees. For example, when I worked with a bank that was based in Amsterdam, I was shocked to learn of the various health-related perks:

- 100% paid health care plan;

- Fully paid gym memberships;

- Three weeks of paid time off for vacation immediately;

- Unlimited, paid sick time;

- Doctor visits counted as paid sick time;

- Twelve days of personal time;

- Every major holiday off;

- Extra bank and European holidays; and

- Bonuses paid in cash or time off.

I had thought that allowing employees to take unlimited sick time would encourage abusing this privilege. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Because I knew that I would be covered financially should I become ill, I found that I almost never needed to take a sick day off. Of course, part of the reason that I stayed so healthy was probably due also to:

- Realistic workloads;

- Positive, thoughtful work environments;

- Communicative management; and

- Less chance of contracting an illness, since people stayed home when they were ill.

Rarely did anyone in the office need more than a few hours to a day or two. Usually, “sick time” was used to go to the regular check-ups that the company also encouraged that each employee take advantage of, through its fully paid, no-co pay health plan.

What’s more, I was never made to feel badly about visiting the doctor or staying home if necessary. Rather, I was encouraged to do so. This company understood that having sick employees in the office was not good for business. Illnesses are spread and there is nothing productive about insisting that employees who are sick come to work. For this reason, I now choose workplaces not entirely by compensation, but by the culture of overall health that they adopt.

This author writes articles advising business owners to invest more in their employees and also reads medical alert systems reviews.

 

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Retirement Plans And Saving Made Simple

It can be a real hassle to manage a retirement fund. The stakes are quite high, because that fund represents someone’s life savings and is what they are expected to live off of for the rest of their life.

Getting to the point where someone has saved up enough money to retire is one thing. But that’s really only half the battle. Then comes the challenge of trying to make that money last enough years — and perhaps even do enough to where that nestegg actually grows, too. Read on for some quick tips on how to manage a retirement fund.

Save enough

One of the biggest tips that makes it much easier to manage a retirement fund is to retire with enough money in that fund. Now, that might seem like common sense but many people rush into retirement with too little saved and then are unable to make the money stretch out for the length of their retirement.

Work with a money manager to make sure that there is enough money in the retirement fund to last. People are living longer and longer these days — many into their 90s — which means the money has to stretch longer than ever, too. Get some help understanding exactly how much money is needed, and how to make it last.

Health insurance

To manage a retirement fund is to understand all of the expenses that come with retirement. One of the big expenses is health insurance, which becomes more and more important as people age and require medical care. Make sure that the expense of health insurance is factored into any plan.

While it might not seem like a big deal now, especially if an employer is paying for insurance, it will become much more pressing once retirement hits. Health insurance can be a challenge but it does not have to be a scary thing if it is prepared for.

Lump sum vs. payout

It might seem like a good idea to get a huge lump sum from a 401(k) plan, but it is actually one of the common pitfalls of retirement. While seeing that huge amount upfront can make someone feel pretty well off, it is actually often a better idea to get a yearly payout. This can help someone budget and it guarantees that they won’t spend it all too soon.

Where to seek advice

Remember, any time that a client has a specific question about their retirement plan, a financial expert should be asked for help. There are a lot of standard replies to questionst that do not consider the specifics of a plan, growth rates and more.

Seeking advice online may seem easier, but the answers that the web provides are not as assured as the answers that are offered by an expert that actually manages the account or accounts in question.

Robert Seitzinger is a copywriter for Majestic Eagle Insurance, a Portland insurance group that can help with retirement planning.

 

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The Benefits of a VIDEO Job Board for Search

When searching for a candidate, companies generally use one of two venues, either a recruiter or a job board.

The Recruiter

If the Employer is looking for a specialized individual in a specific field or if he doesn’t have the time, the Employer will probably use a recruiter. However, his pockets better be deep, as recruiters will charge anywhere from 15% to 30% of the candidate’s gross annual income. The percentage that the recruiter charges depends on each individual recruiter’s fee schedule.

The Job Board

If the Employer has the time to search for the candidate himself and wants to keep the cost of the search low, then the Employer will use a job board and perform the search himself. The costs of posting a job(s) and/or searching resumes vary from job board to job board, but these costs are without a doubt much more economical than the use of recruiters.

The VIDEO Job Board   This is a link to an actual candidate, and his video!

Ideally, the best solution in finding a candidate would be a job board that didn’t cost anything for either Employers or Candidates. Even better still would be a ‘no cost’ job board with Videos where the Employer could see the personality, presence, and qualities of each individual needed for a specific career requirement, something that paper resumes alone can’t do. This ideal solution is “CareerFlick”.

“CareerFlick” is a Worldwide Video Resume Jobsite that is FREE for all Employers and all Job Seekers.  This Job Board/Jobsite lets Employers post ‘unlimited’ jobs and view ‘unlimited’ Video Resumes of Job Seekers for FREE with NO time constraints and NO recruiting fees. Job Seekers can upload their own Video Resume or have a staff member of CareerFlick help them create it for FREE. Like Kijiji and Facebook, CareerFlick earns its revenue from advertisers.

Video Resumes are a thing of the future, but are here now. The use of Video Resumes is a valuable time-saving asset for BOTH Job Seekers and Employers by allowing Employers the opportunity of pre-screening candidates. Video Resumes help Employers see the “real” candidates in order to effectively select the very best candidates for a more extensive and formal ‘in-person’ interview. In short, Video Resumes save time and money for BOTH Employers and Job Seekers.

The Choice

In summary, if the Employer wants to save HIS time and can afford it, he should use a recruiter. If the Employer wants to save ‘time’ AND ‘money’, he should use a job board/job site, ideally one that is FREE and has Videos, such as “CareerFlick”.


 

 

“CareerFlick” IS A WORLDWIDE VIDEO RESUME JOBSITE THAT IS FREE FOR ALL EMPLOYERS & ALL JOB SEEKERS.

“CareerFlick” lets Employers post ‘UNLIMITED’ jobs and view ‘UNLIMITED’ VIDEO RESUMES of Job Seekers for FREE with NO time constraints and NO recruiting fees…totally FREE!

“CareerFlick” has Job Seekers from all around the World and EVERY Job Seeker has a personal VIDEO RESUME. Job Seekers can upload their own VIDEO RESUME or have us help them create it for FREE!

 

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