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Credit Card Rate Vs Investment Rate

Over the past 18 months we have witnessed the stock market plunge over 50%. With your 401k balance in shambles you may be hesitant about investing more money in the stock market. So you decide you might as well spend the money since it just disappears in your 401k. WAIT. I have another alternative investment. Go look at you credit card statements.

What is your current rate is it 9.99%, 12.99% or 21.99%? This is the interest rate you are guaranteeing your credit card company. Think about it for minute. All of your credit cards have a guaranteed interest rate and you can actually control that rate. How? By paying the balances down or off.

Now you should still save money in your 401k especially if you receive a match. For example, if your employer will match 3% of your contribution you should definitely do the 3%. After that amount you should consider using the money over 3% on your bills.

With this type of plan you can still take advantage of your retirement savings plan at work plus work on lowering your monthly bills. The type of plan you should use is a debt stacking plan where you take all your extra money and apply in one bill. Usually the one with the lowest balance since this one would pay off the quickest. Note: you cannot use any credit card you are debt stacking because this will not work by continue to charge purchases with that card.

I have seen many people save thousands of dollars of interest by following a simple debt stacking plan. By concentrating on eliminating debt right now can help you significantly years from now. Why? Well we all want to retire someday, but debt is the main reason why we have to continue to work. Think for a minute if I came and paid off all your credit card bills. Would that give you a pay raise? Most people would say yes and quite a large one. By eliminating debt now you can actually give yourself a pay raise. I doubt your employer is going to give you an extra $200 or $300 a month. I know you can if you started a plan to eliminate your debt.

The Only 3 Ways To Increase Your Business

Would you like to increase your business? In Jay Abraham’s book, Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got, he says there are only three ways (or a combination thereof) to increase your business and make more money. They are:

1. Increase the number of your clients

2. Increase the average size of sale per client

3. Increase the number of times clients return and buy again

Before we take a closer look at each of these methods, it is important to be sure that the prices you are charging are in line with the value that you deliver. Meaning, if you are undercharging please consider increasing the investment for your products and services.

Now, let’s take a look at each of the ways to increase business and get you brainstorming about how you can apply them to your business.

INCREASE THE NUMBER OF YOUR CLIENTS

Look at your client data to see where and how the majority of clients find you. If you haven’t been tracking this start now and in the meantime just go by memory.

Add up the number of clients from each source, see which marketing strategies are working the best and start spending more time doing them. It’s all about doing more of what works. This may sound simple, and it is. It’s just a matter of doing it!

If none of your marketing strategies are working very well, take time to reevaluate and then begin with something new.

INCREASE THE AVERAGE SIZE OF THE SALE PER CLIENT

Take a look at all of the products and services you offer and do two things. First, think about new valuable products or services you could add to the existing ones to create more interesting packages for your clients.

Next, consider all of the ways you could bundle existing products and services in various combinations to create new packages. Look for logical themes or groups that will appeal to your clients. You could even sell all of your products as one giant package at a discounted price.

INCREASE THE NUMBER OF TIMES CLIENTS RETURN AND BUY AGAIN

A well known fact is that it costs around seven times the amount of money to acquire a new client as it does to sell something to an existing client. Take a look at your existing clients, as well as your previous clients, and think about what kinds of products and services they would like.

Consider creating ‘follow-up’ or ‘next step’ products and services. A great way to find out what they really want is to actually ask them what they need. You can ask via: the phone, e-mail, or a web based survey.

Are you starting to see how you can use these three ways, or a mixture of them all, to increase your business? Take the time to analyze your business, create a plan, and get into action on increasing your business.

© Stephanie Ward 2006

The Best Home Security Systems – An Investment in Peace of Mind

Your home is your refuge, the place where you come to relax, and unwind from dealing with a stressful world. Keeping your home your refuge is a concern, and home security systems are geared to address that concern.

There are a lot of options for home security systems, ranging from burglar alarm systems (that just make a loud noise) to silent alarm and monitoring systems, such as those offered by ADT services. Even a dog is a good home security system, if he’ll bark at the right people at the right time. Whichever security system you get – from a dog to a top of the line monitored alarm system – is a matter of how much you’re willing to spend and what kind of threats you expect to deal with.

The reality of home invasions is that their incidence per 100,000 people has fallen dramatically since their peak in 1992; indeed, violent crimes have been declining steadily for nearly two decades, a trend that’s ascribed to everything from higher incarceration rates and “three strikes” laws to improved police procedures and increased funding mandates to put police officers on the streets, to community and neighborhood watch programs and a wider assortment of home security systems making it into the consumer market and widespread deployment.

To find the best home security system you are going to need monitoring, and filtering to eliminate false positives. A false positive is anything that triggers the alarm that isn’t an actual problem; enough false positives, and the home alarm system ceases to be used, because it trains people that the alarm is always going to be false. Most motion detector car alarm systems are in this category.

Higher end home security systems use cameras, motion detectors and other sensors to provide an integrated approach; these systems are able to tell if it’s the cat walking on the kitchen counter setting off the motion detector and not go off rather than inundate you with false alarms. Lower end home security systems include motion detectors and alarm systems, designed to scare an intruder off. These systems also require a bit of extra wiring put into place – most of them will go off if a door or window is opened unexpectedly while they’re armed. This has its advantages – they’re simple to set up – and its drawbacks, say when a teenager is sneaking back into the home after being out past curfew, and waking the entire neighborhood.

An important concern with setting up the best home security system is whether or not you want immediate deterrence with a loud alarm and flashing lights, or a silent alarm system that reports to an offsite monitoring station; the former is usually less expensive. The latter results in more arrests for burglaries.

Whatever kind of home security system you get, think carefully about the cost of installation and the cost of any maintenance systems. Home alarm systems are a proven value add to the resale value of the home; most of them more than pay for their installation when a home is re-sold, and getting a professional off-site monitoring system is even likelier to do this. Think of your home security system not just as an investment in your peace of mind, but as an investment into your home as well.