September 1st, 2007

5 BIG secrets “they” don’t want you to know..

Sifting through my favorite blogs today, I found a little gem of a post that I have not mentioned before.. 5 big secrets “they” do not want you to know..

Some highlights:

Successful investing is not complicated - this is just too true.. and holds for everything in life, in fact. Money making in particular. One of the biggest jokes around, which is perpetuated by wealthy and main stream society’s successful people, is that it is a complicated business.. success. It’s not. You just need to stop believing the B.S and start doing some serious research.

Stock Picking is Hard - stock brokers are gambling enablers. Classic line. And true. Speculative investment is fun. Just like gambling on the Kentucky Derby is fun. But, you should not be doing it with the mortgage money.

September 1st, 2007

Mobile Phones, Everyone is Addicted!

Mobile phones are like security blankets these days, right? I know it is something that everyone is saying but it is so true in my case. I totally panic if I don’t have mine near me at all times, even when I am at work and no one is going to need to contact me. Anyway my point, although a little slow to come to! Is that having the little companion with you all the time, for me its kind of like a pet, and I wanted to get something for my cyber-friend. I was cruising the net and came across a promotional product site where they had a whole section on mobile phone accessories. Everyone these days has links to mobile phone accessories but these stood out for me. So I thought I let those of you out there know that there is a site just for accessories for your little friend – your mobile!

August 27th, 2007

Real Estate Investing.. Checking the temperature..

So.. what are our thoughts on real estate investing at the moment?

A lot of mum’s and dad’s that I have been speaking to lately seem to think that buying an investment property or a principle place of residence to live in as a property development project (to later flip for a profit and skip out on paying any capital gains tax..) is the worst idea in the world.

What do you think?

Personally, I think it comes back to the old adage about whether you are an optimist or a cynic? Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? There is an old Taoist saying that goes something like, where there is problems there is opportunity. Or something like that.. And personally, I think this is the exact situation we are currently in, both in the property markets and also in the share market.

When there are a lot of people worried about how things are traveling, that means there are less people able to make that strong decision when a good investment option comes up. Basically, you have less competition. Which is a good thing.

A good investment remains a good investment, no matter the market conditions. Coke is always a good buy. As is Birkshire Hathway.

If you are a value investor. And you are a long term investor. You will never go wrong.

August 27th, 2007

John Chow Forex Book Competition..

If you have been taking a beating lately as a foreign internet business person with the US dollar tanking you might want to check out the competition John Chow is running at the moment.

He is giving away a trading Forex secrets book.

Pretty easy competition to enter.. you just need to leave a comment. And you can get extra entries, like I am, by posting up about it, and getting a track back (I wonder if John has do-follow links in his comments..), subscribing to his newsletter and a secret fourth way you find out when you subscribe to his feed..

I have been a reader of JC for a couple of months and have gotten some good tips and tricks from his blog. It is a good addition to your feedreader if you are into making money online. His pitch is at the beginner to intermediate level.

August 26th, 2007

Holiday Dreaming..

It is tempting to change the destination of our family holiday this year.. I have been looking around so much at the various locations you can rent houses on the big island, that I am starting to feel like a change!

I am really liking the Maui vacation homes that I have been seeing.

Maybe I should stop reading the Hawaiian Local Travel Blog that I have been checking almost daily this week.

I will have to talk to the family and see what they think. But, there are some really beautiful locations that we could stay in and around Maui, and the pricing is very competitive.

Maybe I should stop dreaming about the holiday and go do some work!

August 26th, 2007

Hawaii Travel Info..

As I have mentioned recently here on Investments & Loans, we as a family like to rent a house for our summer holiday. And the pick of the locations for us is usually a Hawaii rental house.

This is for a number of reasons, some are general and some specific to our family.

Generally, summer is about the beach, the sun and the surf. And Hawaii is the best destination for those things, in our opinion, in the world. And specifically, we are a surfing family. So Hawaii is the holy grail.

I prefer to rent a house mainly because it appeals to my frugal side. We can cook for ourselves and save a lot of money. If we were to eat out, in restaurants or in the hotel dining room, we would run up a much higher food bill for the holidays. Plus, I like having complete autonomy. No other loud guests staying down the hall. And, we can usually rent the same house each year.

I get my Hawaii Travel Info from hawaiianbeachrentals.com, who have all the travel info we need, pricing, booking details and reviews of the houses.

August 26th, 2007

Family Vacation and Hawaii Travel Blogs

If you are looking to find a great holiday destination for the family, I highly recommend you check out the Big Island vacation rentals at Hawaiianbeachrental.com

I stumbled this site today as I was searching around for a Hawaiian Travel Blog (which as you can see, I found at least one.. but actually a bunch..) and I thought these guys had some cool stuff so wanted to post it up for you.

We go away as a family about twice a year, and at least one of those trips is a decent sized holiday.. a proper get away. This kind of rental house option is what we like. You get to have your own place, you get the privacy that you do not feel so much when you stay in a big hotel.. and you can pretty much keep your own schedule, without having to worry too much about the people around you.. (noisy people next door for example in a large hotel..) plus I just think renting a holiday house has some special kind of memories for the kids.. much more real and earthy than staying in hotels..

August 25th, 2007

Merchandising Drives Sales..

I used to work as a sales account manager. And, if there is one thing I learnt from those roles it was that merchandising works.

It is interesting what different people thinks affects their sales, in a retail environment. Some people are addicted to TV advertising. Some people think big price point drops are the way to go.

Personally, I think you have to have a combined approach to maximise your sales. But, if you could only pick one thing, I would choose in-store merchandising. If people see your product they are much more likely to buy it. And the reverse logic is strong, if you are tucked away in the back of the store, unless you have one of the most viral marketing campaigns happening, known to man, people are not going to remember to ask for your product.

But, if they see it. And it is merchandised well, instore.. then you get them buying.

One of the best deals on instore marketing I have stumbled in the last month or two was on this banner stand. Check it out..

August 25th, 2007

John Chow LCD Wide Screen Competition

John Chow has a pretty decent competition running at the moment.

Prizes:

24′ LCD wide screen
and
A copy of Tim Ferris’ four hour work week book.

The competition is being run in conjunction with the guys at the million dollar wiki. You can enter in two ways.. either by buying a (discounted) page on the million dollar wiki (get 5 entries that way..) or do what I am doing and post up about it (you get 2 that way).. I am not sure if you get 2 entries every time you post on your blog.. say you post 100 times.. whether that means you get 200 entries.. but I doubt it.. Mr Evil (John Chow) himself is running the competition, so I would say he would be wise to that idea.

Anyway.. I thought it was a good deal.. and easy competition to enter.. so there you go.

August 24th, 2007

Student Loan Consolidation Service Online..

One of the biggest killers of your financial independence is lack of cash flow. The old adage that you need money to make money is, unfortunately, a truism.

This is especially so when you are fresh out of college. The bills are high, and the cashflow is, relatively (compared to, say, ten years from now..) low.

One of the best things you can do to free up some of your money is to consolidate. Consolidation is always a good idea. It centralizes your money, so it is easier to keep track of. Usually, you can access a better interest rate, because finance companies try to entice you to consolidate via lower interest rates. And, you will have one minimum repayment, versus two or three.

Consolidating student loans is something everyone should do as early in the game as possible.

I always recommend people check out student loan consolidation services online.. because it is easy to shop around, you can access providers nation wide, and that usually means you get a better rate.

Make sure, as always, you check your contract closely, and read all the fine print. But, if you are pragmatic about choosing your provider (read: the lowest rate does not always end up being the company that charges you the least money..) then you will be better off financially from consolidating.

August 24th, 2007

Cramer goes postal..


I am not sure if you saw this the other day.. but it was one of the funniest finance TV grabs that I have caught in a while now.. they were talking Low Interest - Cramer on Interest Rates. Basically, Cramer’s points were that the fed desperately needs to lower interest rates to keep the economy afloat, and that people should stop trading.
But, the thing that is funny is that he goes absolutely postal.

August 24th, 2007

Getting started in your own business..

When you are getting started in your own business one of the fundamental factors that is going to determine whether you last 5 minutes or 5 years is cashflow.

Things always cost more than you think. If you are trying to set up your business on a shoestring budget, then maybe you should consider sticking at your 9-5 for a little while longer and saving some more capital.

Whether you are going to need funds for marketing, equipment, or whatever you need to have a well thought out and reasoned plan as to how you are going to access it. And one of the best ways is via Unsecured Business Loans.

August 24th, 2007

Gotta Love Wordpress and The Plugin Factor..

One of the reasons I love wordpress is that it is such a popular template in not only the search community but also the developer community. And because the way wordpress is structured, when someone codes a good add-on it is easy for the rest of the people publishign using it to benefit.

Plugins are a great way to pimp out your blog, and get it working for you just that bit harder.

Here are a few cool plugins I found recently:

1. Meta Robots - stops the results of your search pages getting indexed
2. WP-Guestmap - maps your blog visitors using google maps
3. Addpile - allows users to submit your posts to addpile.

August 22nd, 2007

Hawaii and Saving

Saving money on holidays is all about relativity.

I mean, think about it. Saving money is a very abstract notion all on its own. But when you compare say Hawaii home rentals versus Hawaii hotels you start to get a clearer picture.

I mean you could just stay home, and you would be thoretically saving money. But, I think that is missing the point of saving completely.

Saving mentality is about doing the same things you used to do, but smarter. Keeping with the Hawaii Holiday idea.. by choosing to stay in self contained rental house accommodation, versus fully catered hotel digs, you will save on hotel bills, food bills and also potentially entertainment bills (because the kids will not see loads of fun.. and expensive.. stuff to do, and plead with you until to give in..)

August 21st, 2007

Property Getting VERY Hard To Sell..

The market conditions have changed. It is not going to be so easy to offload your biggest asset as it might have been 2 years ago.

And for a lot of people in retirement selling their principle place of residence and renting it back is a smart financial move. In extreme cases this might even stop repossession. But, for the average pensioner this might just make smart financial sense. Sell and get the cashflow you need to have a good life, and still get to live in the house you have lived in your whole life, by renting it back.

But, you need to have a broker to organize this sort of arrangement. It does not just happen. Check the link above to find rentbackdirect who specialize in this kind of arrangement, which I think might be a necessary option for many pensioners in the coming years, and a good one at that! (Because, the other factors you should think about on the plus side of renting are that you do not have the costs of rates and taxes, maintenance costs and things like that.. which could save you thousands every year)

August 21st, 2007

7 ways to improve your productivity..

One of the biggest factors in your success as a blogger, business person or in life, is determined by the amount of quality effort you put into projects.

I found a list of 7 ways to improve you productivity today, that I wanted to share.

Some highlights:

1. stop playing games - this one made me laugh.. stop playing tower defense
4. get some sleep - you are more productive on the right amount of sleep.. working longer hours in some cases is just working longer hours, not actually getting more work done, or producing better quality work
6. don’t make a big deal out of little problems - just get over it and get on with it

August 21st, 2007

Backup Your Assets

That title should be read back up you ass-ets. Or cover your ass.

It amazes me how many people you hear about, still, that lose $10k in a day because their server melts. And they have not got a recent backup.

Crazy.

If you make your living online. Or even if you just make $1 a day from adsense on your personal blog. You should have a backup process.

I recommend using online backup because you add an extra level of peace of mind, knowing that your backups are web based. And, so if your computer gets stolen, or your house get burgled, you will not lose your income too!

August 20th, 2007

Rule Of Odds..

Improve your conversion with the rule of odds.

What is the rule of odds I hear you say.. and I am glad you asked, I reply. This is a very interesting notion, and may to some readers be right up there with rubbing fish oil on arthritic joints.. but I think there might be some thing in it.

It is basically the idea that using odd numbers in offers is better than even numbers. Think price points and offer amounts.

Even number imply balance and closure. Odd number imply something unfinished, something left hanging..

August 17th, 2007

Family Lawyers

Make sure your estate goes to those you love.

This is the slogan at the top of Arizona retirement and estate planning lawyers Morris, Hall & Kinghorn (what a great name Kinghorn is.. not your average horn..)

And while you might just assume this is for old people, it is not. In fact this is exactly not for old people. This is exactly for you. For the young, fit, savvy, ten feet tall and bullet proof person, who while they might have done a little bit of estate planning, have not really taken it seriously.

Take it seriously.

Get a real law firm to organize it for you. Rest easy knowing you have invested the couple of hours it is going to take to get it done right. Make sure your family is protected and make sure your kids are covered. Do not leave it to chance.

August 17th, 2007

Blog Lessons That Will Benefit You & Your Brand..

I found this great post with a list about blog lessons that will benefit you & your brand.

Some of the highlights that really stood out:

1. Make it easy for readers to find your feed - This is a simple, but great tip
3. Social Bookmarking - can drive a lot of traffic to your blog
6. Read other blogs - this is where a lot of learning will come from and a lot of content ideas.. make sure you thank people with links!
7. Compelling paragraphs - every sentence should be a reason to read the next one..