There is a simple but undeniable truth in the financial consulting and wealth planning industry that Wall Street has kept as a “dirty little secret” for years. That dirty little, and nearly always overlooked secret is THE WAY YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR IS PAID DIRECTLY AFFECTS THEIR FINANCIAL ADVICE TO YOU! You want, and deserve (and consequently SHOULD EXPECT) unbiased financial advice in your best interests. But the fact is 99% of the general investing public has no idea how their financial advisor is compensated for the advice they provide. This is a tragic oversight, yet an all too common one. There are three basic compensation models for financial advisors – commissions based, fee-based, and fee-only. Commission Based Financial Advisor – These advisors sell “loaded” or commission paying products like insurance, annuities, and loaded mutual funds. The commission your financial advisor is earning on your transaction may or may not be disclosed to you. I say “transaction” because that’s what commission based financial advisors do – they facilitate TRANSACTIONS. Once the transaction is over, you may be lucky to hear from them again because they’ve already earned the bulk of whatever commission they were going to earn. Since these advisors are […]

Why is having health or medical insurance so important? There is certainly a misconception that medical insurance is only for the elderly and older folks. Many young adults and even some middle aged adults have this misconception that since they are still healthy and without any illness, they do not need this security blanket that a health insurance policy provides. Their argument is that the premiums are high and that they are not getting anything in return if they do not make use of the policy. Perhaps, these people are ignorant or have not heard or read of young and healthy people who without any warning, suffer a health attack or succumb to cancer. This is not surprising considering the hectic lifestyle and the regular intake of unhealthy food in this fast moving world that we live in. In addition, unforeseen accidents, minor or major can happen anytime. Breaking an arm or a leg can happen anytime while playing basketball or football. In the tropics, many people young and old falls victims to dengue due to mosquito bites. Considering the rising cost of medical care, hospitalization, surgery and medicines, a visit to the hospitals for treatment can indeed set back […]

Online, world travel guides are coming into their own. While they may never beat a solid guidebook that you can dog ear and mark up as you travel the world, they are becoming more valuable for research pre-departure. Thanks to the minimal resources required to create a travel guide online (no publishers, distributors, materials, etc.) we will continue to see more pop up as the world gets smaller. However, as the quantity of world travel guides increases, the need for quality, dependable information becomes more scarce. Here are the most authoritative spots online to help you prepare your next big Travelfish.org. If you are looking for intelligence on Southeast Asia, look no further than Travelfish (even Lonely Planet, creator of the classic “Southeast Asia on a Shoestring” acknowledges their hard hitting advice). They provide detailed information about all of Southeast Asia, with a focus on Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, with additional sections on Singapore and the Philippines. Their FAQ for each country is an exercise in mind reading: they answer questions you didn’t realize you had such as “What kind of lock works best in a bungalow?” They also break down electrical requirements and other technical advice pertaining to […]

Polyures and epoxy coatings are a new breed of concrete coatings with extraordinary benefits when properly applied with the highest quality blends. They are being applied by a small but growing network of highly skilled flooring entrepreneurs around the country. The highest quality polyureas are not massed produced. They require an investment in specific equipment and mastery of the application system. The Application System The first step is to acquire high production concrete grinding equipment. These are high torque grinders that cut the concrete easily. They have specialized dustless vacuum systems minimizing airborne dust. Surface preparation is critical to successful application. High spots throughout the floor are leveled, including along expansion joints, which typically are higher than most areas of the floor. Polyureas are not a self leveling product like epoxy. Epoxies tend to have varied thickness throughout the floor. Polyureas perform best with a smooth level surface resulting with a consistent coating thickness. Once the floor is ground smooth, cracks and damaged areas, including expansion joints, are repaired with a filler compatible with the coatings. These repair products are solvent free, do not shrink, are flexible and impact resistant. Once the floor is ground and cracks, expansion joints and […]

With property management firms charging as much as 45% of a rental property’s income, more and more vacation home owners are turning to the Internet to book their rental properties themselves in order to keep more of their rental income. While websites such as HomeAway have given vacation home owners a new venue to advertise their rental properties, most vacation home owners are finding that these sites alone do not produce enough rentals to keep their properties fully booked. Even worse, vacation home owners are finding that the mundane tasks of replying to inquiries, manually sending out invoices and rental agreements, updating their properties’ availability calendars, and all the other tasks associated with replacing a property management firm all add up to a full-time job. There are online software management tools for vacation rental properties, though, that can greatly reduce the amount of time you have to spend managing these types of activities. To help vacation home owners find, book and manage online rentals for their rental properties, here are the top 3 time-saving vacation rental management tools that no vacation property owner should be without. 1. Online Booking and Reservations Management System If there’s one thing that online consumers […]

Organic foods are pure and natural foods. These are prepared by natural means and no harmful chemicals are used in their farming or agricultural process. Most of these organic foods are good for health as they are rich in vitamins and minerals. The best thing about organic foods is that no fertilizers, medicines or chemicals are used in their production and thus they are free from any harmful products. Organic foods are not just good for health but they are also good for nature. It is often seen that in the agricultural process of most of the foods and vegetables, we use fertilizers so as to get better results. These chemicals and fertilizers used today are harming the soil and nature. Organic foods are just perfect for nature and human health. In the production of these foods, there is no harm to the soil, water or farms. Production of organic foods is much easier and affordable. They require less energy and also the consumption of fuel is much low as compared to the production of other foods and vegetables. Today you get to see more and more industrialization of organic products. This is so because they are getting more popular […]

Market Driven Innovation (MDI) is designing, managing and implementing your innovation process based on the needs and wants from your key markets. MDI is not new, but still today, many companies have found it difficult to transform their innovation work from their entrenched technology and product forward approach they have been using to a market back approach. Often, their entire business processes have been built around their assets and products they produce and their go-to-market strategy based on their historical sales experiences. The result of this behavior is premature commoditization of their value propositions, their most important assets. Market Driven Innovation is based on a strict set of principles: o Engineering/technical resourcing decisions are made based on a validated market need and an attractive business case. o Organizational Focus is achieved from understanding market segments and targeting the most attractive segments for growth o A cross-functional team approach, marketing, technical, and sales all contribute to the growth initiative together, and thus are aligned on the strategy: o Accelerated ramp up after launch from a higher operational knowledge of the market o Accelerated technology development because better design specifications from a segmented market o Driven by business leaders who make resource […]

Investors have long discussed, argued and debated whether single family homes or multi-units are better for your real estate investing portfolio. There are advantages and disadvantages for each and I will briefly highlight some of these below. Let’s start with single family homes. Single family homes are typically easier to finance, easier to find long term tenants for and easier to sell. They are easier to finance because you can go to just about any bank and get a non-owner occupant loan, often with very little down payment. (But note, at the time this is being written, May of 2008, lending requirements have gotten significantly stiffer.) Single family homes are easier to find long term tenants for because many tenants prefer living in a detached home rather than sharing a wall and/or ceiling with multiple neighbors in a multiplex unit. Tenants also tend to stay longer because those who rent houses instead of apartments tend to have more stuff and they don’t like to move it as much. Since you can sell your single family home either to another investor or to any family looking for a home, you have a very large market for liquidating your property. Another advantage […]

If you have just bought a car then you should know that getting an auto car insurance has been made mandatory by law. Without this you won’t be able to drive on the roads and you will be collecting a lot of driving tickets. Getting auto car insurance is not that difficult; all you need to do is choose the right agency. This is not a daunting task if you are a wise buyer. There are so many insurance agencies to choose form, so finding the right one can be a bit tedious. It is vital that you choose the right agency if you want to save your hard earned money. Making a wrong decision will just make your money go out the window. Not everyone is a perfect driver so there is a possibility of you meeting with an accident. Paying for the repairs can be a bit expensive and at such times having auto car insurance in hand is beneficial. This will help you save your finances. You really need to shop around to find the right agency and the easiest way to do is online. On the internet you will be able to find an agency nearest […]

Outsourcing business solutions allows businesses to maintain a competitive edge while saving on costs. There are certain functions, like IT and web design, that are necessary but may not fall under a business’s core competencies. Maintaining in-house teams can be costly in terms of office space, equipment and training. Some businesses may not have the resources to spend on them. By outsourcing their solutions, businesses can leverage the expertise of a provider at a fraction of the cost of maintaining in-house services. There are distinct advantages to outsourcing, including: Cost-effective communication. Businesses can boost staff productivity with professional email and collaboration tools. These solutions require their own servers, however, and need to be maintained by a dedicated IT team. By outsourcing the IT solution, businesses can save on the cost and hassle of server maintenance while enjoying 24/7 support. Professional Web design. Businesses may not have the time or expertise to design their own website. Through a provider, they can have a professionally designed corporate website built according to their budget and specifications. Enhanced online visibility. It takes IT expertise to enhance a website’s visibility so the target audience can find it. By leveraging search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising […]