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Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Buying a Franchise Business

March 13th, 2014

What exactly is a franchise business?
There may be some slight variations from one situation to another but on the whole, this involves buying what is effectively a license from someone to open up your own business operating under their corporate umbrella and brand. It is a very familiar business model and offers the advantage of you being able to join a winning brand rather than needing to come up with your own business idea and develop it accordingly.

Image courtesy Ed Hart

Image courtesy Ed Hart

What are the main advantages of a franchise?
As touched on above, you are theoretically jumping onto the bandwagon of an existing successful company and that may be worth a lot to you.
Other things that might come as part of the package, though not always so do check, might be: Read more…

Business Strategy, Investing, Money, Success , , ,

Investing in New Businesses: The Ripple Effect

November 12th, 2013

Given the state of current affairs, you may be a bit skeptical to invest your money in a new business that may or may not succeed. Essentially, you are putting money that could be used towards your own improvements to help improve the business affairs of someone else. It can be intimidating if you don’t have a lot of money. However, the rewards could be great if the venture succeeds.

investing_in_a_business

Image courtesy NKNS

Beginning Expenses
After an individual invests money into a business, this goes towards various expenses in order to help it succeed. This could be anything from paper for invoices and receipts to hiring local graphic designers for logos and signs. Landlords, utility companies, office equipment stores and more will receive additional sales due to the fact that the new company needs specific supplies and equipment. As long as the new establishment can maintain itself, this income could become residual for other companies in the area that need the income.

Read more…

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Is this the Start of the next Bitcoin Bubble?

October 22nd, 2013

Bitcoin has started to rise again, and it looks like it might be the start of the next Bitcoin bubble. Although many people have known about Bitcoin for years, most people have not purchased any coins and do not understand it.

Image courtesy bitcoincharts.com

Image courtesy bitcoincharts.com

How is this bubble different?

Read more…

Accelerating Technology, Dreams Come True, Internet, Money, Success, US Economy , , , , , , ,

Is this a good time to buy gold?

August 11th, 2013

Many people think that this is a great time to buy gold. However, the same people who are saying that now were saying it when gold was at $1,800 per oz.

The price of gold has fluctuated over the last 5 years.

The price of gold has fluctuated over the last 5 years.

Personally, I think it is better to hold gold than dollars. The dollar is collapsing, and I think it will continue to collapse over the next decades. However, that does not mean that everyone should go out and buy gold.

Read more…

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10 Free Apps to Help You Declare Your Personal Financial Independence

July 1st, 2013

Two things made the American Revolution work: Ideas and Tools.

It was a great idea to become independent and to create a democracy in the new world, dominated by archaic colonialism and monarchism. However, if it wasn’t for the printing press, those ideas would have never got out. If it wasn’t for the rifle, those ideas would have never been defended.

You might say the American Revolution was the ultimate app.

But what about you? Do you have great ideas on how to save money, invest money, and budget money, but don’t have the resources or tools? Here are a few ways to simplify those tasks and make this July 4th — and every day after that — the day you declare your personal financial independence.

And, by the way, all these apps are Free, just like the founding fathers wanted them to be.

Mint.com

Mint made personal financial tasks easier and simpler. Their mobile apps are getting rave reviews, too.

To learn more, go to the Mint Apps page.

Manilla

Manilla apps can help you organize your bill-paying chores. Not paying your bills on time can lead to stress, anger, and… higher bills.

Here’s the page to find out more about Manilla apps.

SigFig

Making a bad investment is one thing, but you don’t know it’s bad unless you can see how bad it really is. SigFig helps you monitor your portfolio — and spot those bad investments. And good ones. Find out more at SigFig.

BillTracker

The BillTracker app helps you monitor your bills and pay them on time. Find out more at BillTracker.

Doxo

Doxo bills itself as a digital file cabinet so you don’t have pesky paper bills floating around mucking things up. You can check out this hand app here.

Forbes Intelligent Investing

Forbes is one of the biggest names in financial news and information. Their Intelligent Investing column is downright educational. You can get a look at the Intelligent Investing app here. Click on the Intelligent Investing tab.

Morningstar Apps

Track all of your investments and study all of your investment ideas with these Morningstar apps.

FX360

Forex people! You need free apps, too. Here’s a nice one from FX 360.

ETrade

From one of the biggest brokers, here’s a great app. Check out ETrade’s suite of mobile apps.

TD Ameritrade

And last but not least, if you use TD Ameritrade as your broker, you might want to plug into this free app.

Accelerating Technology, Investing, Money, Online Investing AI, Success, US Economy

Cognitive Biases — How Thinking Shortcuts May Cause Thinking Blind Spots When You Invest

June 24th, 2013

You do not see the market clearly. No one does. You are peaking through a crack through a wall when you make an investment, or a trade. The mass that blocks your view from true reality is often referred to as “a cognitive bias.” In fact, there isn’t just one cognitive bias that makes up the wall that blocks your view of how things really are; there are dozens.

Cognitive biases are simply thinking shortcuts, ways you process the infinite amount of information that bombards your reality every day. (If you want to impress people, call them “heuristics.”)

Biases aren’t necessarily bad. They are actually forms of pattern recognition — one of the reasons humans remain at the top of the food chain. In fact, you might go crazy if you didn’t have some way to turn the swirling clouds of data that inundate us into sensible patterns. However, if you’re not aware of your own biases and acknowledge that they help you make decisions, these lenses quickly become blinders. Here are a few cognitive biases that might affect how you think about investing.

Anchoring or focalism – this is the tendency to rely too much on one piece of information when making decisions. Some investors have a particular metric when the make their decision and ignore other signs of company performance.

Backfire effect – when something happens to cause you to doubt your belief, you strengthen that belief. Ever buy something after a rapid loss and call it a “buying opportunity”?

Bandwagon effect – just because everyone is buying a house with a high-risk mortgage, you can do the same.

False-consensus effect – the tendency of a person to overestimate how much other people agree with him or her. Just watch any of the financial news networks until you find one that agrees with you.

Information bias – the tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.

Focusing effect – the tendency to place too much importance on one aspect of an event. You may experience this when, let’s say, the Fed makes one move, while there are other economic factors that are just important, and you focus on the Fed’s decision.

Optimism bias – the tendency to be over-optimistic, overestimating favorable and pleasing outcomes.

Pessimism bias – the tendency to overestimate the likelihood of negative things happening to them.

Recency bias – events that just happened seem more important. For example, a company has a good quarter — after a string of lousy quarters — and you focus on the new numbers.

Typically, we don’t suffer from one bias — but dozens. Sometimes, these biases are bouncing around at the same time.

Here’s a good list on Wikipedia.

Investing, Money, Online Investing AI, Success, US Economy , ,

Banishment or Unemployment: Why Workers Choose to Stay in Bad Jobs

June 3rd, 2013

There’s an interesting story that some companies in Japan have banishment rooms. According to Marginal Revolution:

“Basically, banishment rooms are departments where companies transfer surplus employees and give them menial or useless tasks or even nothing to do until they become depressed or disheartened enough to quit on their own, thus not getting full benefits, unlike if they were actually let go. Imagine having to stare at a TV monitor for 10 hours at a time each day, in order to look for “program footage irregularities.” Of course companies would not admit to doing this, and instead will make up generic (or even creative) titles and department names like “Business & Human Resource Development Center” or “career development team”

You’ll see this in American operations, too. Hoping to avoid paying out unemployment compensation, some organizations will try to demoralize and demean employees into quitting on their own.

What’s even more dismaying, employees will stick it out. Apparently, Japanese workers will remain in these banishment rooms.  Only 10 percent will leave the company. The rest sit around and scrutinize television for 10 hours a day. A horrible waste of potential. Doubly dismaying: Most studies indicate that employees who are laid off or quit find better jobs: higher paying and more richly satisfying. They tend to perform well in these jobs, too.

So what gives? The Buddha might say it is nothing more than attachment. We are attached to our routines and our relationships. We derive too much of our self-esteem and self-worth from our job titles and the brand of the place where we work, too. I might add that there’s always the fear of the unknown. The saying that comes to mind: The devil that you know is better than the devil you may face in the future.

Somehow, workers become blinded by fear and are unable to see that with unemployment — or even new employment — that new positions bring not just uncertainty, but also opportunity.

What’s your opinion? Do you stay in a bad situation, or do you move on and try a new job? What’s your bottom line?

 

Money, Online Investing AI, Success, US Economy , ,

The Next Step for Bitcoin

May 20th, 2013

Bitcoin has gone through its second bubble, and it is interesting to see how it survives. Although many people thought that the price would crash to a small fraction of its high of $262, it seems to have stabilized in the $100 to $120 range.

Image courtesy BitcoinCharts.com

Image courtesy BitcoinCharts.com

The popularity of Bitcoin has exploded over the last 6 months, and it was clear that the bubble would burst. However, it seems that Bitcoin has gained enough traction to make it survive through the price crash. The chart looks quite strong at the moment, but only time will tell if Bitcoin continues to rise in value.

Read more…

Accelerating Technology, Dreams Come True, Internet, Investing, Money, Success , , , , , , , , ,

Can Investing Be a Spiritual Exercise?

April 1st, 2013

tradingbeyondI’m reading Van Tharp’s latest book, Trading Beyond the Matrix. I just started it so this will not be a complete review — expect that in the future, though.

But I am already intrigued.

Tharp believes that you don’t trade or invest in the market; you trade or invest in the beliefs of the market. Those beliefs are yours to control, or to allow them to control you. Hence, trading for Tharp is almost a yoga, a mental connection between brain and spirit. Indeed, there are yogic paths that stress mental exercises and meditation exercises.

But we don’t think of trading as a spiritual act. In fact, it’s treated almost as an act of defilement. Our society has twisted views on wealth and earning wealth. We praise and hate the practice. The structure of our tax system treats earning money as a sin by punishing — not rewarding — you for earning more money. It’s the ultimate sin and deserves the ultimate sin tax. Notice: there’s no progressive sales tax on cigarettes or alcohol based on use or over-use.

Tharp though approaches it almost as a Zen philosopher, who sees the extraordinary in the ordinary and the ordinary in the extraordinary. By consciously watching your thoughts and beliefs, the trader is learning about himself. As he learns about his mind, he is learning about the universe.

I sort of saw this coming from Tharp. The last book of his that I read — Super Trader — contained the prerequisite number of charts and graphs, along with trading tips, but did not shy away from spiritual matters. Tharp believes they are closely connected.

Once I’m finished I’ll try to post a review, or summary, of Trading Beyond the Matrix.

 

Resources:

Tharp Institute

Trade Your Way to Freedom

Super Trader

 

 

 

Dreams Come True, Great Books, Investing, Money, Online Investing AI, Success , , , ,

Your Life Sucks? Here’s Some Good News

March 25th, 2013
Creative Commons -- Flickr

Creative Commons — Flickr

Don’t blame the media. Don’t blame the government. Blame Darwin and the occasional saber-toothed tiger.

We are surrounded by bad news because of evolution. Our brains developed to deal with an overwhelming amount of stimuli, mostly in the forms of threats to our safety and acquiring food and shelter. We watched for bears and worried about our next meal. Good news, quite frankly, wasn’t important.

This affects us today. When you’re on the freeway, do you stop and gawk at the motorist who successfully exits the highway? Or, do we slow down and gawk at the car accident at the side of the road? The media promotes the unusual and trends that threaten us before it shows us the common and trends that benefit us, even though, as we’ll see, there are far more opportunities than threats out there.

I believe this gives us a distorted picture of the world — and, in fact, may keep us mired down psychologically. We focus on the bad and ignore the good. (Although, to play my own devil’s advocate, it may also keep us from being complacent.)

Anyway. This week, I’m passing on links to prove my point.

Good things are happening, even if you believe your life, your world, and your reality sucks.

From Reuters, data indicate growing economic momentum.

There’s good news about job growth on Yahoo News.

Global poverty is shrinking — Pro Bono News.

From working in a sweatshop to being a billionaire, on the Good News Network.

Leukemia cure in one study — may just be the beginning, according to story at ABC News.

Quantum computing researchers are making impressive discoveries, according to one of the companies on the forefront of this new industry.

Exoskeletons can increase worker productivity. That’s from Next Big Future.

3D Printing? Yeah, that’s coming to, says the Wall Street Journal.

And lots more…

 

Business Strategy, Dreams Come True, Internet, Money, Success, US Economy , , , ,