Knowledge Is Power; And Also Money

Knowledge Is Power

Knowledge Is Power

Turn Knowledge Into Money Making eBook

There are many of us who have a range of talents that render our friends almost speechless with envy. However, try and find, when we try to convert those talents into money that they seem to be in very limited demand. Looking for a job when you have a talent for music should be straightforward – your skills are very clear, and the vacancies should be obvious. It is similar for any talent that can fall under the bracket of “academic” – they can be very desirable talents particularly for those who do not have them. Nevertheless, for those who do they often seem to be frustrating and unproductive, sitting there making no money whatsoever, unless you can win a competition based on your talent.

Many are now coming to the conclusion that if those talents are not going to just go out there and make money by themselves, they will need to be twisted into some shape that makes them lucrative. No one is going to pay you money just for knowing how to do something – unfortunately. However, what you can do is to turn your talent, knowledge or intelligence into book form and sell that book. Once upon a time, in order to write and sell a book, you needed to write to publishing companies with your plan, get it accepted, and then submit your book at various stages for feedback and editing. If it did not conform to what the publishers wanted, then it would not get published. So you could be as intelligent and knowledgeable as you liked, but getting published was next to impossible for many.

With the advent of the e-book, this is no longer such a concern. People with knowledge to distribute can now write a book in Microsoft Word (or any other desktop publishing program) and distribute it themselves. If you are good with web design, or know someone who is, then you can design a website to go along with your book, providing you with a product and the means of advertising it all in one fell swoop. Writing an e-book and publishing it can also be a way in to the still thriving paper-based literary world.

So if you have a certain, specific talent which your friends are always commenting on and expressing envy over, then why not think about writing an e-book. You can send it to your friends without asking them to pay for it – they can even act as a focus group by telling you what they like and what they do not. Setting up an account with PayPal enables people to pay for the book, whereupon you can send the book to them, and hey presto. You are making your talent into money – finally. Instead of getting frustrated with a dormant talent, you will be getting rich from it.
First Published: Mar 13, 2009

Don't Throw Out Your Credit Cards Yet, First Pick Up Your Phone

Cutting Credit Cards

Yesterday I decided to get rid of two credit cards. These two cards were in my wallet for long and I never used it. As I was calling customer service to close my account, my friend (who was next to me) suggested just to throw out my cards. He said he never bothers to call because it is a waste of time.

Many of us do the same thing. A lot of us don't realize that if you do not call your card company and close your account - your account will remain active and it will appear on your credit reports as a credit. So if you opened accounts here and there years ago just to get10% discount and forgot about it, chances are high that's what making your credit reports lengthy. We don't know how many credit cards we have and all these accounts appear on our credit reports and creditors might not like having too many accounts. So before you throw out your credit card next time, make sure you pick up the phone and call your credit card company to close your account first.
First Published: Mar 29, 2007


Safe Fish To Eat

Safe Fish You Should Eat

Today, I am not going to write about the benefits of eating fish. Most of us know about it, and if you are not aware, do some research online. I try to eat fish every other week or even more often. However, if you don’t pick the right fish to eat, it may do more harm than good due to its contamination. I am going to present my safe fish list and unsafe fish list chart today to make your life little easier on fish shopping. Keep in mind that there are much more fish than what I have mentioned here. I am just presenting those that I like. If you want more, use the links I provided at the end or search online.

My Top Safe Fish List

1. Anchovy - Omega 3
2. Arctic Char - Omega 3
3. Atlantic mackerel ( Avoid King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel) - Omega 3
4. Haddock
5. Halibut
6. Herring - Omega 3
7. Ocean Perch (Alaska, Pacific. US Pacific, Newfoundland)
8. Pollock (Boston bluefish) - Omega 3
9. Farmed Rainbow Trout (avoid wild trout) - Omega 3  
10. Salmon (eat canned, Chum, Coho, Pink, Wild Pacific, sockeye, Chinook, steelhead salmon. Avoid farmed, Atlantic salmon) - Omega 3
11. Sardines – Omega 3
12. Smelt - Omega 3
13. Snapper
14. Sole (US Pacific English Sole)
15. Tilapia (eat farmed Canada or America Tilapia. Avoid farmed Asia, South America Tilapia)
16. Tuna (eat canned light, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, yellowfin, tongol. Avoid white, albacore, bluefin, maguro, toro tuna) - Omega 3 

NB - Omega 3 refers to fish high in Omega 3.


First Published: Nov 19, 2012


The Best No Foreign Currency Fee Credit Cards in Canada

No Foreign Currency Fee Credit Cards

No Foreign Currency Fee Credit Cards

Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Cards

Canadians pay a 2.5 percent foreign transaction fee on most credit cards when they travel, even on high -end annual fee credit cards. Three cards are the exception to this rule. However, there is another option that became available to Canadians recently to avoid the foreign fee.

Here the three cards that let you avoid the foreign currency fee:

Chase Marriott Rewards Visa Card
Amazon Visa card
Rogers Platinum MasterCard

CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card

A new card called the CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card offers some unique features that come in handy when you travel. Don’t let this prepaid card steer you away from the various benefits it offers.

You can load a maximum of 10 currencies on this card and as long as you purchase within those currencies in foreign lands, you will not pay any foreign currency fee when you buy. However, when you load foreign currency, it seems to factor this in and charge a foreign currency fee. You can also withdraw cash from ATMs and get no fee for the first withdrawal.

My main reason to like this card is flexibility. I am always uncomfortable browsing the streets in foreign lands with a card that has $20,000 to $30,000 credit limit in my pocket. The AC Conversion Card lets me load any amount I want (minimum $100, max $3,000) and I would have peace of mind knowing that losing my card would be no big deal, as I would only load what I need daily in small amounts when I travel.

I will do an unboxing video of this card on my YouTube channel and possibly write more in the future. And rest assured, just like my all other credit card articles and videos, I do not accept money from credit card companies or provide any affiliated links to make money signing you up like other websites or blogs.

CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Credit Card Unboxing and Brief Review

Entrepreneurship Today - Too Risky, or Just The Right Time?

Small Business Ideas

As the economic news seems to get worse by the day, it seems that a different company is going bust every time you switch on the news. People are finding work harder to come by, and those who do have jobs are often finding themselves with fewer hours, or missing out on pay rises due to their employer finding it impossible to find the money that is required to keep a business thriving and its employees earning what they thought they would. For employees, there are more and more situations developing where they find themselves coming to work and wondering what bad news will filter through in the morning meeting. And as employees, they are also finding that there is not a whole lot they can do about this, that they just have to accept the latest piece of negative news.

In this climate it seems that it would be a brave individual who decides to up and start their own business. Watching companies go to the wall is going to be enough to turn off a number of potential entrepreneurs, who look at the situation as it is and doubt that they could make their own company work where the established names are failing. If the big companies with decades of experience are unable to keep their heads above water, then what chance does a greenhorn with a dream have? It is perfectly understandable that a number of potentially excellent businessmen and women are keeping their ideas to themselves right now.

It is absolutely the case that fewer businesses start up during a recession. For one thing, there is often a lot of capital required to set up a new business, especially where new premises are involved. For most people, this necessitates borrowing, and we are living in times where borrowing money is getting harder and harder, with banks not wanting to take any kind of risk in the light of a climate that has driven some to their worst operating losses ever. But on the other side of this, if you have made savings of any kind you may well have what the banks are looking for – a deposit. By raising this kind of operating capital, or giving the banks an assurance that you are likely to be careful with your money, you increase your chances of getting a business off to its best start.

Alternatively, the Internet has made it possible to start up a business without having any premises. All you need is your home computer, an idea, and the materials to put it into practice. Even the materials do not need to be expensive, depending on the nature of your business. From a very low start-up cost you could find yourself earning money pretty quickly. Obviously it is no time to be setting up a company selling executive holidays – the take up would be rather low – but if you have an idea to supply a need that has not been diminished by the credit crunch, now could just be the best time to go for it. A narrowed field, and a market that is not far from bottoming out – what are you waiting for?
First Published: May 7, 2009

Health Risks of Inactivity

Inactivity Kills Like Cancer

A recent study published in the Lancet shows that inactivity, or lack of exercise, causes as many deaths as smoking across the globe. How many deaths is inactivity causing? The answer is an alarming number of 5.3 million deaths annually.

It is estimated that about one adult in every three are not active enough. Inactivity is causing one death in ten due to diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so on. The Lancet report also finds that populations in rich countries were less active than poor countries due to various factors. Let’s look at some other numbers:

Inactivity Causes:

Heart Disease = 6%
Type 2 Diabetes = 9%
Breast Cancer = 10%
Colon Cancer = 10%
Premature Deaths = 9%

These numbers are based on data from 2008

It is recommended that you do 2 to 3 hours of exercise per week combining aerobic activity and strength training. A combination of moderate and vigorous activity is recommended. Moderate aerobic exercises include walking the dog, walking to the grocery, swimming, etc. Vigorous aerobic exercises include jogging, running, playing tennis, squash, etc. Strength training exercises are those to work on your major muscle groups such as arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, back, hips, and legs with the use of weight machines, resistance bands, weight bars, dumbbells, etc. Strength training activities should be done at least twice per week.

First published on Aug 18, 2012 on

Educational Entrepreneurship

Has Your Education Paid Off?

Many people who have spent a large amount of time (and money) getting their education are finding that it has not paid off as they would have wished. People with college degrees are, finding with greater frequency that there are not as many companies sitting and waiting for someone with their skills as they hoped or were led to believe.

Often academic achievement – a worthwhile goal in its own right – is found to be of less value when looking for the perfect job than we have been led to believe. In addition, it is at times like this that people with a high level of education canfind themselves wondering why they bothered. For many reasons, this is a great shame. Not least of these reasons is the fact that it can easily trickle down to younger people that education is worthless. It is not.

If you have spent all that time and money getting an education only to find out that it has not gained you the perfect job, there are ways that you can put it to work for you. Maybe a big company does not want to take the chance on you because they simply do not have the vacancies, or it may be that, impressive though your achievement undoubtedly is, it just does not fit into an existing gap in the skills set of the companies in question.

The solution to this problem may lie in taking the bull by the horns and creating your own income stream. The most immediately obvious way to do this is to take a direct approach. The educated can become the educator. Tutoring is something that is used far more than most people realize. Despite what you are finding, the value of education is still held by many to be as high as it ever was. Parents who are despairing over their child’s academic performance are increasingly prepared – even in a shaky economy – to give their children the extra advantage when it comes to schoolwork by employing a personal tutor. And knowledge has a high premium. Many jobs in the private sector simply do not pay as highly as working for yourself, selling something more important than any perishable goods.

Even if your education is not in a field that is so easily transferable – for example, parents will often want to employ a math tutor or a language expert, but are less likely to call for a textile major – you do have a level of knowledge in your chosen field that most people simply cannot call upon. So if a company finds itself in need of someone who can – for example – make a necessary component for an item they are selling, but have no-one in their work force who has that skill, they will often be prepared to pay an outside contractor to show them how. Outsourcing is becoming more and more of a key issue in business. Having an expertise in a certain area can really pay off. It is about seeing how you can make it pay off for you, and if you can do that then you can show the world – and yourself – why you bothered getting that education.

First Published: Feb 28, 2009 on

China’s Plunging Foreign Reserves

Yuan Continues to Outflow

Chinese currency remains worrisome to the global economy as Yuan continues to outflow causing declining foreign exchange reserve. As the Yuan is losing value, Chinese consumers are rushing to exchange them for U.S. dollars to preserve their value.

As there is a limit of exchanging Chinese currency annually to $50,000, consumers are trying to get around this rule by buying other tangible assets such as real estate, fine art, expensive wine, and so on. Another popular method to get around this rule is to use the quota of other people who have room and sometimes paying to use their quota.

The Chinese government is intervening in the market to stop rapid depreciation of Yuan by selling dollars and buying Chinese currency. However, this intervention is causing the plunging of the foreign exchange reserve. Chinese authorities are assuring everyone that there is nothing to worry about and these fluctuations are normal economic conditions.

January data shows that the foreign reserve declined by $12.3 billion to $2.9 trillion. Also, debt is rising rapidly and growth in GDP is slowing down. And there are more things to worry about as President Trump made it a priority to balance the trade deficit with China. China has been running trade surplus with the rest of the world persistently for the last decade. The USA had a trade deficit of $347 billion in 2016.

A declining Yuan, slowing GDP, and rising debt will likely contribute to bigger surplus as exports to China will suffer the most from all these.

Will Toronto Skyscrapers Fall?

Toronto Skyscrapers Aren't Falling In Prices

It should not take us by surprise that World Class City Toronto, one of the best liveable cities on earth, is the leader in constructing the most skyscrapers. However, the Canadian government implements tighter mortgage rules to cool down the Canadian housing market and there have been many talks about the oversupply due to disproportionate over-building of downtown Toronto condos. According to most of the analysts, sky-high prices for downtown condos are bound to fall due to less demand as supplies are exuberant and buyers are reluctant to enter the market because of the eminent housing market crash due to tighter mortgage rules. But is this the case?

Yes, there are some depressing numbers when you look at the last quarter of 2012. There were 3800 condominiums sold in downtown Toronto. This is a 23 percent decline over the last quarter of 2011. In terms of new condo sales, the number looks even worse. New condo sales were down 47 percent in downtown Toronto. However, defying these falling numbers, the total new condos under construction hits a record high of 56,900 in 2012 and new condo constructions starts a record all time high 24,390.

Now let's look at some positive numbers. During the first 2 weeks of February, there were 2800 sales in the greater Toronto area. This was down roughly 8 percent more than last year, but the number of new listings was lower too. Average home price was $509,000, which represents a 4 percent increase than last year. Average home price was $775,000 in downtown Toronto and one third of the homes were sold above the asking price.

There have been some bidding wars in downtown Toronto where supplies were low. With so much market crash speculation, downtown Toronto districts were able to keep prices fairly stable and a price increase was even noticed. For example, Toronto downtown's biggest condo district, C01, dropped only 1.66 percent in January than one year before and district C08 actually showed a 4 percent increase in prices.

So, will skyscrapers fall in Toronto in prices? It does not look like that way based on recent market activities. As Toronto downtown has enjoyed double-digit job growth from 2006 - 2011, more professionals are making skyscrapers their homes, pushing the demand high for condos. IMF recently predicted that Canadian residential real estate market is 10 percent overvalued. However, 10 percent overvalued homes, among other factors, may not be enough to make Toronto skyscrapers fall in prices.

First Published: March 12, 2013 on

How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur

Successful Entrepreneurs

Playing To Your Strengths: The Way Forward

An entrepreneur will generally succeed because they know exactly what to do in the given situation to appeal to the market they are targeting. No-one has the time to know everything about everything. You will find that the people who are truly successful are those who have seen fit to specialize. They know whereof they speak, and they stick to what they are good at. Some people call it “being aware of your own limitations”, but really it is more about playing to your strengths.

A good entrepreneur will see the money making opportunity in the things that they are interested in. People spend so long in life working in jobs they do not like because they just applied out of sheer desperation to get a job that paid the bills. This is – sadly – inevitable. But if you can spot a situation that you can turn into a money-making opportunity, you can make sure that you do not have to take a bad job ever again.

Knowing your strengths – and playing to them – is important for any potential entrepreneur, because a lot of the problems happen when people get bogged down in the gray areas where their uncertainties lie. It is (of course) important to be able to cover as many eventualities as you can. This is where a good base of contacts will be invaluable. If you have a good base of contacts, bring them in on deals where they can help you – obviously for a percentage.

If you do not have a large contact base, there has never been a better time to start. Look for people who really know their market, who have a level of expertise in areas where you do not. Think of the area in which you are specializing, and then think of related areas. Do you know enough to deal with these areas as an expert would? If not, do you know someone who does? And if the answer to both of the above questions is “no”, then you need to bite the bullet and enlist someone in a “consultancy” capacity. You can find this someone by asking around.

Being an expert in one area will allow you to make money. Whatever that area is, you will find that there are some people who just cannot get their heads around it and either need expert tuition in the area - or just someone to do it for them. This is where entrepreneurs make their money – by servicing a need, filling a gap in a range of skills. Partly, experts really depend on having the confidence to spot that their skills are needed.

Letting yourself get bogged down with areas and details – however relevant you may see them as being – where you really do not specialize will prevent you from playing to your strengths as you can. And consequently it will prevent you from making as much money as you could.

First Published on: Feb 21, 2009 on

I Am A WordPress Veteran and Moving to Squarespace

The Beginning of

A Dawn Journal.JPG

If you have been following my blogs, books, and YouTube channel, you know that I have several websites, with ADawnJournal being the most popular one. However, it is time for a change. I have secured a domain with my name and will build a new site from scratch.

This time I decided to go with a totally different platform for the new site and I have chosen Squarespace (SS) as my platform. All my other sites are WordPress sites, so it makes sense to try something different with my new site. WordPress may be the best platform out there and most of the big media and other big name sites run on the WordPress platform.

But it all comes with a price. If you are not a programmer or a web developer, it’s a lot of work and hassle to maintain WordPress sites. From my experience for the past 10 years, I have had lots of pain and agony running after programmers to update, change, or fix my sites. And there will be always problems you will have to deal with maintaining WP sites. I know little bit of coding to fix minor issues, but not I am not knowledgeable enough to write programming code, Mysql databases, FTP, etc. to build WP sites from scratch and fix major issues.

As SS does all these and it’s a drag and drop site builder with modern templates and features, I should be able to save lots of time and hassle. After all, I am a minimalist and live my life keeping things simple.

 I already started building my new site and expect to make it go live in 1 or 2 week (if you are reading this, it is live). My other WP sites will remain on WP for now, and I will decide on those (if I want to keep them on WP or move to SS) later. ADawnJournal will remain active for now. In the future, I will have to decide whether to leave ADawnJournal as it is or merge into