Credit Card Debt? Bah Humbug

Yearning to See the Light

I read an article, a very interesting article about reducing your card debt.

The article said you should forget about it (pay the bare minimum on it), and focus your energies on earning more income.

Forget your credit card debt…?

Now, I am appalled and alarmed by that suggestion on a lot of levels.

Because that simplistic approach cannot possibly apply to (1) people who cannot handle their money, (2) people do not know how to grow their money, and (3) or who cannot (for the life of them) stop buying.

And they exist – an obscene number, in fact!

Besides, according to Carmen Wong Ulrich’s The Real Cost of Living: Making the Best Choices for You, Your Life, and Your Money, having a credit card debt has an emotional cost.

A huge emotional cost.

Continue reading →

Are You an Aggressive Investor?

To Whichever Way the Water Flows

You have a private equity fund. And you say to yourself, I have arrived.

But, have you?

Because, in fact, it may take you longer to arrive.

First things first. Let me explain what a private equity fund is (but please bear with me – we will be going a little technical here). It is typically a limited partnership, in which the private equity firm acts as the general partner and accredited investors fund the investments of the partnership. According to Daniel R. Solin in his book, The Smartest Portfolio You’ll Ever Own, the average returns on equity funds, net of fees, were 3% below that of the S&P 500 (an index that consists of 500 stocks weighted by market value, often incorrectly used as a benchmark for the performance of the US stock market) and fees were a whopping 6% a year.

The fraud (it is fraud) does not start, or end, with private equity funds.

Continue reading →

Men Do Not Want To Ask

A View from Within

A View from Within

Sometimes, I embarrass my husband.

I like getting my discounts and am shameless asking for it, while I see him at the corner of my eye, squirming in his seat, wanting to disappear.

Like the time our engine light came on during our trip to Tagaytay and luscious Canyon Woods (while we were singing – shouting – Don’t Stop Belieeeevinnn!!!).  Long story short, we had the car checked, had the car checked-in for almost a week (uh, sorry, we have to take a closer look at it, might be serious), and were charged an arm and a leg just so they can clean the computer box.

Continue reading →

Sharing, Swapping and Being Ecologically Responsible

Yearning

Yearning

I do not usually reprint what has been sent to me via press release, but when I saw the word “share” in this release from Andrea Woroch, I was suddenly reminded of the book Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

What fragile memories we have, author  Robert Fulghum intimated, that we only need to think of the basic, of what we used to do – being good and doing good – and the world would be a better place.

That advise still holds true and that is why this release appealed to me. The swapping and sharing websites featured in the article are just what we need in this materially-possessed world.

And I like the idea of being ecologically responsible.

I personally checked out the websites and was intrigued by BookMooch (book swapping), Home Exchange (travel) and Zwaggle (for baby stuff).  I have not actually shared or swapped, because I am located in Asia (which makes me wish for a similar service here – and why don’t I start one?).  But do let me know how it goes for you.

Continue reading →

What Many Entrepreneurs Do Not Know (or Realize)

 

Without the Pomp and Circumstance

Without the Pomp and Circumstance

In making the ad that sells, it is not about you, or your product, or your company.

Yes, branding is okay.  Being perceived as the expert, as trustworthy, is okay.

Having a great product is okay – even great.

But before all the smoke and mirrors, before the hype about your product and its features and its details and what sets it apart from everything else – you have to zero in on what is important, zero in on the hero in the story.

The customers.

Continue reading →

A Matter of Time

Touch Down and then Take Flight

Touch Down and then Take Flight

Everyone is obsessed with time.

It is both a cross and deliverance.  It flies and drags.  But like an illusion, it does not exist.  There is only now.

But what do you do with your time?

Like everyone else, you are probably not very good with it.  You probably spend at least 2 hours of your everyday on reading your email (and clicking links), 2 hours for television or gaming, 4 hours on driving, 8 hours on sleeping and 8 hours on figuring out what to do and what happened to your day. 

Continue reading →

Nothing Goes In Until Something Comes Out

 

Creating Order

Creating Order

 

You have a mission.

You look at your closet and then in it – really look – and you cannot fight the overwhelming feeling that there is just too much that you have allowed yourself to accumulate.  Yes, it is a testament to how much money you have had and spent, of the good life that you are trying to craft for yourself and your family.  But why is it making your head ache?  You heave a sigh, barely manage to control a cringe, and start – but you do not know how and where to begin.  You do not even know what your mission is.

Is it just to put things in order?  Once again?  Until you carelessly pull out an old shirt and the clumsy movement wreaks havoc to other perfectly laid clothes.  And then another bad, harried, hurried day comes and your closet is once again in shambles.

Is it to look for things to be given away?  But that dress cannot go.  You wore it in one of your anniversary celebrations and he said you looked stunning in it.  Cannot give those knee high boots away too, they are just way too expensive.  Or that sweater, because it was a gift from your boss (what if he asks about it?).  Or that blouse, because it still looks kind of pretty.  Or that shirt, because you got it on sale and just have not had the opportunity to wear it.  Right?

Stop.

Continue reading →

The Cost of Opportunity

Windows

Windows

Opportunities appear not to those who wait, but to those who look.

The problem is, not everyone looks.  Most sit on their divans and wait for the apple to fall, although there is no tree around.  Okay, sometimes there is – outside – but most of the time, the leaves are not even ruffled by the wind.  

And these people – they wonder – why isn’t there anything happening in my life?

When the cost of opportunity is nominal, a pittance.

It can be bought by small talk, an exchange of looks, or a simple email.  But there has to be a dash of audacity, daring, bravura.

You only need a window – an opening that will give you glimpse of what is beyond – the something that is out there, and good, and waiting for you.  You also need a sprinkling of imagination to spur you on so you can take the first step.

And the second, and the third.

But some of the time, you do not even need a window – you can find or create opportunity.

Continue reading →