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Article publié pour la première fois le 15/09/2010


Interesting Company Stats

Sometimes when looking at an investment, you may want to look at something beyond the obvious.  For example, what really makes this company different from its competitors or what could potentially drive this company in the long term.  Here are some interesting non-financial company statistics that you may want to consider when making your next investment.


The first area that I think is important to look at is the company’s talent profile.  This means doing a company house check and really looking at what the entire executive team and board of a company is comprised of.  For example, is the company being led by the original start-up team, or is it a bunch of old venture capitalists at the helm?  Is the company led by a woman or have female leadership?

These signs can have a direct correlation with future decisions of the company.  For example, if the company sells more to women, it could be a positive thing to have a female leader, since she could relate more to the customer.  If the company is now being led by venture capitalists, you may want to question what the long term motives of the company will be.  Will they be looking for their exit, or thinking about long term shareholder growth?

Talent can play a big role in directions the company chooses.  If the company has board members that are known for things at other companies, some of those traits may carry forward.

Customer Data

Customer data is another interesting metric to look at if you can get insight into it.  For example, are the main customers affluent individuals, or are they low income?  These types of statistics can let shareholders know how a company could perform in a recession.  Just look at high end car sales during the last recession.  Since the customers were primarily wealthy, car sales took a hit when the stock markets collapsed.

Customer data can also give a sense of loyalty to the company.  How many repeat purchases does the individual make?  How often do they come to the store?  These metrics show engagement, which can show long-term growth.

Article publié pour la première fois le 17/04/2012


Saving Money Myths

Cash savings are at an all-time low for most people and the rate of credit card debt is at an all-time high. Most individuals nowadays spend more money than they can afford because buying on credit has become so easy and convenient.

People are drowning in debt and the idea of opening a savings account is not something that people in debt consider as being viable. Those in debt are trying to make ends meet and pay off their bills and the idea of saving part of their money every month is not an appealing one.

There are all sorts of false beliefs and myths surrounding the idea of saving money, especially when a person is in debt. It is exactly at the time that they are in debt that people should consider putting money into a savings account and paying cash-only for their purchases.

Getting out of debt is easier than most people think if they are willing to be disciplined about their spending and cutting unnecessary items out of the monthly budget.

The top common saving myths

1.Many people feel that because they are in debt, they cannot afford to put money aside every month. This is simply not true. Even if it is only a few dollars a month that are saved, they soon add up. There are often unhealthy spending habits at the bottom of most debt situations.

Many people feel it necessary to eat out several times a week or to buy coffee at upscale coffee shops every day. The money saved by eating at home and making your own coffee can be quite substantial when the monthly total is added up. It is not that people cannot save money; it is more likely that the habit of going out to eat has become so prevalent that it does not even register how much money is wasted indulging in this several times a week.

2. Owning assets is considered the same as having cash by many and therefore it is not considered necessary to put money into a savings account. This is far from the truth. Owning a million dollar property cannot be considered the same as having $1 million in a bank account.

Owning cars and furniture is not the same thing as having cash on hand either. This is especially true if the home and the car are not completely paid for. Property can get damaged and the real estate market can fall, making the assets less valuable than they used to be.

Having cash safely in a savings or other account is the best way to be prepared for all emergencies. An account with a high interest rate can also provide a liveable monthly income for people so that they no longer have to work.

3. Saving money is thought to hamper lifestyle and make people sacrifice the things they would like to do or have. The opposite is true. Buying things on credit means that there are usually high interest charges attached to the purchase. This can really add up, especially if the debt is high.

This means that over several years it is easy to spend thousands of dollars to pay off interest charges on credit card debt or car loans. When unnecessary items are cut out of the budget and purchases are made in cash, the money spent to pay off interest can be put into a savings account instead. It is all a matter of prioritizing and being disciplined. Saving money can be a lot easier than most people think.

Article publié pour la première fois le 13/04/2012


7 Things I Learned Watching Honeymooner Re-Runs @ Saving Money Today

Should Unemployment Benefits Be Extended? @ The Digerati Life

The Best Things to Buy in August @ Lifehacker

Article publié pour la première fois le 07/08/2010

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Running on a Budget

A gym membership can get pricey, particularly if you’re not sure that you’ll use it enough to make it worth your while.  Family-style programs are a little more cost efficient, but a single membership can sting you right in your budget:

Bally Total Fitness Single Premier Membership: $30/month, $360/year

YMCA Adult Membership: $46/month, $552/year

24 Hour Fitness Ultra Sport Membership: $70/month, $840/year

If you don’t think that this type of membership is worth it for you, don’t worry, you do not have to resign yourself to a life of couch-potato-ness.  There are many cheap and/or free exercise options available. 

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Article publié pour la première fois le 12/08/2010


4 Bad Deals

The term “Bad Deal” is relative.  Not only is Necessity the mother of Invention, she is also the mother of many a Bad Deal.  Necessity has lots of children.  If a so-called bad deal is the only way, the only course of action between life and death, then maybe it isn’t such a bad deal after all (it’s called an opportunity cost).  The following cases are not life and death related.  These examples are interpreted in a day-to-day light, where urgency is not a consideration, but convenience, desire, and other potential budget-ruining emotions are. 


Speeding Tickets

Let me refresh your high-school math skills: 

Jack and Jill are in separate cars.  Both need to travel 60 miles to get to Amarillo.  Jack drives at 65mph and Jill drives at 75mph.  How much faster will Jill get to Amarillo than Jack?

Answer: 8 minutes

Follow up question: How much must Jill’s time be worth to make up for the $180 speeding ticket?

Answer: $1,350/hour.  Actually, the time it takes to get the speeding ticket will probably eat away the 8 minutes, so Jill loses money no matter what.   

I got a speeding ticket recently.  Needless to say, I monitor my speed much more closely now.

An Economical Alternative:

Don’t speed Smarty Pants, just leave 8 minutes early. 

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Article publié pour la première fois le 16/08/2010