Friday, April 25, 2008

Are you profiting from O.P.P.?

Article by: Sue and Chuck DeFiore
Are you profiting from O.P.P.?
If not, why not?

We know many of you have the desire and dream of running your own home-based business. But, like so many people, you're not sure where or how to start. You're not sure what type of business you should look for.

You're not sure if you could do it. You're not sure if you really can achieve the financial freedom you want for yourself and your family. You're confused by all the get rich quick scams you see all around you. You can't pick up a newspaper or get on the web without falling over an ad telling you that yes, you too, can be a millionaire by next Tuesday if you just buy my Secret Formula. You'd happily make the investment of time, money and energy, if only you could find a business that was legitimate.

You're smart enough to know that any business worth having takes effort and requires time to grow. But what to do? Well, let us ask again. Are you profiting from O.P.P.? If not, why not?

What would you do if you found a business that: could generate multiple streams of income would work in any area of the country could be worked both in your local area and nationally could be worked both on and off the web would allow you to build your long term net worth and, can be started either in your spare time or part time.

Would you possibly think you should take a serious look at this business? We'll ask one more time. Are you profiting from O.P.P.? If not, why not?

OK, we know you really can't answer this question yet. Why, because we haven't told you what O.P.P. is. We can tell you the business we described above is real and it revolves around the O.P.P. principle. We can hear you now, enough already.

What is O.P.P.? Very simply put, O.P.P. is Other Peoples Property. Yes, you can build a great business and make a wonderful income, all from your home office, using Other Peoples Property. And no, we are not suggesting you break into your neighbor's homes, steal their belongings and sell them.

What we are talking about is a wonderful business that allows you to generate immediate cash flow and also build your long term net worth. So, what is this wonderful business.

Lease Purchasing.

Lease Purchasing is a specialized niche in the field of Creative Real Estate, which allows you to control property without the trouble of ownership; and profit from this. Lease Purchasing affords wonderful benefits and opportunities to those who would like to operate a home-based business.

Every year, thousands of people get wealthy in their home business. A good place to put their positive cash flow is onto Lease Purchasing to build a real estate portfolio to retire on after they move 0n and sell their business.

Glen :-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Personal Financial Planning : How To Find The Right Estate Planner For You

That is, an objective and skillful adviser provides more than investment strategies or financial planning advice. When looking for the right estate planning adviser, consider these key questions:

What is your previous estate planning experience and have you worked with clients like me?

Do you have in-depth knowledge of relevant legislation such as income tax law, provincial family law and probate acts?

How do you set your fees?

Do you sell life insurance, mutual funds or other investment products?

I would like to set time lines and how can you help me meet those deadlines?

Can you refer me to other professionals, as needed, such as a lawyer or an accountant?

For more information, visit

Grant Thornton LLP is a leading Canadian firm of chartered accountants and management consultants.

About The Author: News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web. News Canada is a niche service in public relations, offering access to print, radio, television, and now the Internet media, with ready-to-use, editorial "fill" items.

Monitoring and analysis are two more of our primary services. The service supplies access to the national media for marketers in the private, the public, and the not-for-profit sectors. Your corporate and product news, consumer tips and information are packaged in a variety of ready-to-use formats and are made available to every Canadian media organization including weekly and daily newspapers, cable and commercial television stations, radio stations, as well as the Web sites Canadians visit most often.

Visit News Canada and learn more about the NC services.

In recent industry surveys (FP500, Bottom Line), Grant Thornton ranks among the top five largest firms of chartered accountants and management consultants in Canada.

Glen :-)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Budgeting will Build Your Future

The word “budget” can conjure a dreary image of scrimping and sacrificing, so many people avoid the subject altogether. But creating and following a budget can help you to have the money for things you want.

Make a list of all the items, large and small, that you need or would like to have but don’t think you can afford. Many of them may be within reach if you budget well. Think of creating a budget as a financial strategy for your dreams. Doesn’t that sound more appealing—and more manageable?

Your budget is a tool you will enjoy to build your future.

Congratulations on taking the first step. These are the three most important keys to having a successful budget that really works:

1. Make realistic goals you can keep
Don’t put down $0 for entertainment expenses if you know you are going to spend more than that. Be honest with yourself.

2. Learn new ways to manage your money
There are many ways to save money, get better credit, and make your money grow. Here are some tips for how to get started.

3. Maintain your budget
Creating a budget is just the start. The only way it will work is if you remember to update your expenses and make changes during the month to make sure you stay on track.

Getting Started:

The best way to make a budget for the future is to figure out how you spend your money now. First, look at where your money comes from and where it goes. Track all of your income and expenses for a month or two before creating your budget. You'll need to keep track of all of your purchases - from a cup of coffee to movie tickets - by writing them down in a notebook or holding on to receipts.

Write down how much you spend in each category every month. Don't forget to include money that you save each month to help you meet your future goals. Be realistic about your budget, so that it's easy for you to follow.

Create your budget now.

Glen :-)

Negotiating Rates with Your Credit Card Company

In fact, it can be very easy indeed if you know what you're doing. In this article we will discuss the ins and outs of credit card negotiating to ensure that you get the best possible rate with the least amount of effort.

First and foremost, you should figure out if you even want to continue using your current credit card company. Are you pleased with the overall service that you are receiving? Do you like their benefits? If the answer is yes then you can proceed. If not, you should stop reading this article and start looking for a better company.

Second, you should evaluate your paying history and make sure that it is positive before you call to negotiate. If it is positive then you have real power and if it isn't then you'll be negotiating from a position of weakness and that might not be good. Instead, you should wait until it is more positive before you call them to negotiate rates.

Third, if you have a good history then remember this when you call.

In essence, you'll have extremely high negotiating power. The company needs your business in order to be successful and with poor paying history clients they lose big time. Therefore, you should always display this "take them or leave them attitude" while conducting your negotiations.

Draft up a script and memorize it. It can be as simple as "Hello, my name is Bill and I have been a cardholder for X years and I consistently pay my bills on a time. Well recently I have been receiving all types of credit card offers from XYZ bank indicating that I qualify for an extremely low interest rate of Z% and am considering leaving you and going there if you can't offer me a lower rate. Is this something that you can help me with?"

Practice, practice and practice some more with your script until you are completely and totally used to it. Once you are, contact the company. Read your script and see what happens. If you get a hard nose customer service representative then don't threaten her. Be agreeable and ask to speak to his/her supervisor. If that is not possible, be nice to her and try again, she may have some kind of leeway.

If you like your present company, you can even try negotiating interest rates, annual fees and even those yucky late fees. However, if you're fed up, have an alternative company in the wings, and your current company won't budge with their rates then be willing to take your business elsewhere.

After all, you hold the power so don't be afraid to use it! They key on how to use it is simply to ask for what they can offer. And be persistent -- most credit card companies will lower your rate or improve your standing somehow at least once or twice a year based on your good account payment history.

Glen :-)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How To Prepare For A BIG Pay-Off When You Sell Your House

In your advertising, Feature what the buyer wants.

1) Then do the things that will make her comfortable being in your house. And make sure you think about what can be done to improve the environment -- so you can make cost effective choices for repairs and upgrades. Use our priority checklist below:

a. Thoroughly clean the kitchen. Then move on to the bathroom, closets, furniture and storage areas.

b. Fix up the house interior, but watch your spending! You'll be surprised at how quickly the costs add up! Spend money only on items that will increase the value of the house more than your costs.

To learn how to make thousands of dollars in profit from fixing up your home go to:

c. Fix up the exterior of your house by tidying up the yard, fixing cracks in the driveway and making sure the windows and doors open easily. Spray WD40 on all hinges. Also, check that the exterior lights and doorbell work. Power-washing the driveway and porch can do wonders.

2. Select a realtor who is willing to learn why your house is worth more than the competition. Interview several realtors until it becomes obvious who knows their stuff and who doesn't.
Since a house is usually the biggest investment in most people's lives, there could be some intense moments in the negotiation process. Be sure you feel comfortable with the realtor as a person.

3. Set a starting price and the lowest price you will accept.
If you have lots of time to sell your house, you can start the price slightly higher than market value.

If your start price is too high, your house won't sell, or the bank won't finance it. If you reduce the listing price later, other realtor's will think there is something wrong with your house and will only bring bargain hunters.

A realistic price is the best place to start.

4. Negotiate the listing realtor's commission and the selling realtor's commission. If the commission is too low, realtor's will spend less time promoting your house. If you are in a hurry, or if you want better service, you are better off increasing the commission by $500 rather than reducing your price by $5,000.

5. Develop a features and benefits checklist for realtor's. They see so many houses that after a while they all look alike. A written summary of strong points of your house helps the realtor justify a higher price when presenting to the buyer.

6. Develop a lifestyle oriented features list of your house and surrounding area. A pictorial collage of two or three pages will help increase the desirability (and higher value) of your home.

7. Just before a showing make sure everything is well dusted, all the lights are on and the windows are open, if weather permits. Use a neutral deodorizer just before the buyers arrive. Lighting a candle is very effective in eliminating odors ...

Don't forget your patience in today's difficult selling environment. Things will get better.

Glen :-)

Work your way out of Debt

Make a budget -- just a list of regular expenses you can work with in the future. And make some form of saving a part of it. Donations are also a good thing to begin right now.

An Emergency Fund is the first step in getting out of debt. It will make your life go easier when those irregular, unexpected emergencies arrive. When your savings gets big enough or a credit card can be reserved for emergencies only -- that will serve as your emergency fund. Keep it there for true emergencies -- not just personal desires. When you must take any money out of your emergency fund -- your top priority becomes replacing that amount back into the fund for later.

Next put some money into savings. Work up to an IRA because you can get increased earnings and extra tax savings. You should be paying taxes by now of course, it's part of a real financial plan. This will help to establish your financial history and will pay off in the future.

But, before doing too much investing -- I recommend investing in a sure thing! Don't believe the news or the financial advisers -- their is only one guaranteed sure thing!

Guess what it is -- and feel how good it will feel to be betting on a SURE THING!

Your one true sure bet is getting out of debt. Here's the best way to do it:

Pay the minimum amount on each of your debts and savings except the one with the biggest interest rate. Pay all you can on that one alone until it's fully paid off!


Make a list of all your interest bearing debts.
Include the amounts you owe, the minimum payment and the interest rate.

Change your budget with this plan to get out of debt:

a) Change the Category name for the item with the highest interest rate to "PIG" (Piggiest Interest Grabber).

[note: Not the biggest debt, but the biggest interest rate is the PIG!]

b) Increase that payment amount to the most you can afford by decreasing your other payments and savings to the minimum allowed. Pay off the PIG as fast as you can! (The first one can take years -- but the results will accelerate to the finish!)

c) When that item is paid off -- use those dollars and add in the budgeted amount for the next highest interest rate item. Then work on that new PIG!

d) When you have no more PIGS on the list, put the entire amount into savings.

That's the secret to retirement and savings --
a simple to follow long term plan:

Pay off your biggest interest rate item first

Then cross it off and do it again.

Glen :-)

7 Surefire Ways To Repair Bad Credit

Here are some sure-fire solutions
to 'repair bad credit.'

Like most 'diseases,' credit repair can take some time, but complete healing is possible. The first thing you need to do is find out what is being reported about you.

This is easy and inexpensive. For under $10, you can get your credit report from one of the three main credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Keep in mind however, that if you have recently been denied credit, you can get a free report from the same credit bureau the lender used to reject you -- as long as you do so within 30 days.

What You Don't Need is a repair clinic.

->> There is no legal way to 'repair' your credit.

Those that claim to know loopholes and shortcuts are merely out for your money. They may even get you into legal trouble by having you fudge the facts or creating a whole new file for you. Anything legal that a clinic can do, you can do just as easily and without the cost of 'professional' help.

Further Steps to Take:

1. Stop using your credit cards immediately.

Put them somewhere where they will not tempt you. You may consider keeping at least one card for emergency purposes. Additionally, with poor credit, you may find it more difficult to get a credit card in the future. If you keep at least one account open, then you won't have to worry about applying.

2. Be Honest With Yourself.

Taking a good hard look at your financial situation, particularly if it isn't good, can be very difficult. Yet, to get out debt you have to fully understand what the situation is.

3. Find the Errors.

Believe it or not, up to 40% of all credit reports have errors in them. If you find that your credit report shows something that is not true, you need to write to them with all the details. Be sure to use certified mail so that you can keep track of who you wrote to, when you wrote, and who received the mail on the credit bureau's end. Then ask the credit bureau to send a corrected report to anyone who has requested a report on you in the last 6 months.

4. Find the Omissions.

By law, you are allowed to add information to your report that you believe will help your rating. This might be additional information about a repayment of a loan, good credit you have with companies that do not report to the credit bureau, or salary increases.

5. You Must Have a Plan.

Whether you determine to pay your bills down a little at a time, take a second job, go to credit counseling, or file bankruptcy, you need to create a plan. Do the plan. Revise the plan. And Never Stop planning your future through your budget and financial planning.

6. Creating a budget is easy -- plus it can be fun.

But the real benefit is that you can use it to take charge of your future. Start with a simple list of estimates about where your money goes. Be as complete as you can and then add up the total. If the total doesn't match your total income, then add a category called Miscellaneous and put the difference there.

If your budget is more than your income -- you have discovered problem number one (for most people) is your budget. Stop spending money that you don't have. Do it Now. Find ways to increase your income and ways to decrease your budget expense until the totals match. But don't stop there.

Then, if you haven't already, create a category called Savings. Put something into your Savings and keep it forever. This will demonstrate your ability to keep a promise (to your self) and create all the self esteem you need to make the 7th step easy. The fun part is that your Savings can build into an account that earns money for you too. That Savings is another source of income. "My money makes me money."

Before you are out of debt, create An emergency fund. This is a separate savings place where you can borrow from yourself when it is NEEDED. Not just wanted but needed! And when you borrow from your self be sure to pay yourself back ASAP. Make it a big priority! An emergency fund it your security account.

7. Following your budget is the secret to your financial future.

You can always, revise, and adjust your budget while changing your plans. The second biggest problem (for most people) is that they always add more expenses to the budget plan whenever they get a chance. That does not work.

Increase your savings instead, and pay off your interest bearing debts. Interest payments are the "thief in the night" that prevents you from having what you deserve. It gives other people your money simply to allow you to exceed your budget. Dumb? I guess!

Take a lesson from my parents. They both walked to work until they could afford to buy a car. And when they did -- they bought a new car. That way we got the most out of our car with all it's benefits. And no money was wasted paying extra lenders for the privilege.

When your savings gets big enough, put some of it into better investments. I recommend an IRA to begin with because you can get increased earnings and extra tax savings. You should be paying taxes by now of course, it's part of a real financial plan.

Glen :-)

How to Get Control of Your Money

Making a living is fine -- if you do it.
But it is just the first step to
gaining control over your life.

If you want to increase your wealth and have more options, action needs to be taken by you otherwise you could end up like most people at retirement -- further down the track, totally dependent on a pension.

Karen's Story:

Karen is the Marketing Manager for a well-known organization. She's 39 yrs old, single and earns over $80k a year.

She is paying off a mortgage and that's all the debt she has. Karen buys whatever she likes and says she has more than enough money for her lifestyle, or so she thought. And that's a very important point -- Karen 'thought' she had plenty of money to splash around yet she had no real idea of where it went.

She was at the stage where she wanted to achieve more in her life including taking charge of her financial future.

One of the exercises I gave her to do was to sort all her financial statements -- visa card, bank accounts and any cash receipts and list her income and expenditure under specific headings, ie: loans, clothing, utilities, food etc. Karen recorded everything that occurred for the past 6 months.

She nearly fainted when she saw how much money she had wasted and how much she was overspending! She was going backwards fast and only realized it by doing this simple exercise. In the past Karen hadn't put a high priority on her financial well-being as it was just too hard.
Being a marketing manager, her life was busy at work and she had a hectic social life. She didn't want to bother doing something that wasn't exciting like working on her financial future.

After all, she had a well-paid job, didn't she? Karen has now come to her senses and knows her true financial situation. If she lost her job, financially she couldn't afford to be off work for more than a month.

She realizes that she is responsible for her future. The area of wealth creation hadn't been of great interest to Karen in the past. Now that she was undertaking coaching, she was serious to making a change. Prior to writing down where her money was going, Karen was completely closed to any suggestion to read more about how she can accelerate her wealth (or lack of it), so I didn't pursue this with her.

Her attitude had now changed so she was ready and willing to move to the next step.

The next move I referred Karen to an organization who would look at her total financial picture and be able to recommend what she could do. The reason I chose these people is because they take a holistic approach to wealth creation. They look at every aspect of finance and provide an on-going education we could all benefit from.

Glen :-)

Five Major Ways to Save Money

Saving money is a matter of following a budget,

but cutting costs, that's a different story!

You're in complete control in this area of cost cutting. And all it takes is some imagination and discipline -- both of which are free. Below are five major ways to save money in the basic areas of food, shelter, clothing and transportation. They're the major expenses in your life - and places for major savings.

1. Home Cooking

Food is a major expense in everyone's budget. But, in today's convenience food society, it's easy to overlook how much money can be saved by cooking meals at home.

Plus, it's fun, creative, and healthier to make your own meals. The key is to cook in "bulk" to stretch the food you buy over several meals. If you're a busy person with little time to spare, a good investment is a slow cooker (or crock pot.) Generally, they run from $20 to $80, depending on the size.

With a slow cooker, you can set aside some time on the weekend to cook stews, soups, and other delicious meals that can be frozen for weekday use. After a hard day at work, all you have to do is pop the meal in the microwave! More than likely, you'll enjoy an additional benefit - your taste buds will wake up from mass produced food and thank you for the delicious taste of a home-cooked meal!

2. Drive less, exercise more

Is owning a car expensive? You already know the answer to that question, don't you? Gas, maintenance, insurance costs. Plus the mental aggravation of being caught in traffic jams! Why not carpool or take public transportation-the bus, train, or light rail? Or, if you live close to work, walk or bike.

You'll lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and see the world at a slower pace. And, oh yes, you'll save a couple of thousand dollars in the process.

3. Cut housing costs

This is an easy and fun way to cut costs. Instead of paying a contractor to come in to make changes or repairs, make them yourself.

Local hardware stores love your business and will help you with tips and tricks on home repair. Also, do your own decorating and painting. You get two benefits by doing your own changes and repairs - you get the pride of accomplishment and you save money.

4. Cut clothing costs

This can be another major area of expenses, especially if you have a family. So, try buying used clothing... dry clothes on the clothes line instead of in a dryer... learn how to mend clothes...well, you get the idea!

5. Quit your addictions

Okay, so this is not really an easy category, but if you enjoy cigarettes and a drink, this is where you can realize some major savings. Assume you can do anything you want... and start choosing where you are heading in life. Choosing your future is simply a matter of good choices.

Glen :-)